Felt Boards and Fables -  Passing Along an Oral Storytelling Tradition (4-6)

 

Objective:  Students will study the fable, work with a team to learn the story, create felt pieces for a storyboard, and orally present their fable to the class and eventually to other classes in the school.

Materials: Book of Fables, Various Colors of Felt, scissors, and Felt Boards.

          After just the first weekend of the Storytelling class, I really liked the storyboard with the felt pieces that my professor showed us.  I had never used felt before and thought it would be a great way for students to orally tell a story.  I thought that fables would be a good beginner story since they are short, easy to work with, and easy to create felt pieces for a story board. 

          This was also a time when my students were taking the I.T.B.S.. (standardized test) and I wanted a fun and exciting project that would be interesting to them in a time of intensity. 

          As soon as I introduced this project, I could tell by their eyes and facial expressions that they were excited and into it. I began by reading a fable that I selected.  We discussed in length what a fable is and things that a fable has.  I read some others to show the repetitious nature that a fable has and how most fables contain the same elements.  They really liked to hear these fables and were able to connect ideas from one fable to the other. 

          Next, I formed six teams of four.  They were given a fable that I chose that I thought would work best for a storyboard.  They had no complaints and all loved the fable they got.

          They read the story as a team, and created a story map using a graphic organizer I provided.  Then each team discussed their graphic organizer. 

          The next step was to divide the story into four equal parts in which each person would be in charge of. 

          I taught them how to use a pictorial map to help them remember their part.  I think that for second language learners this is a powerful tool.  They did much better at this than I did in class on the last weekend that we met.  The majority was able to use their map to retell the part of the fable that was theirs!  It was really amazing.  The few students, who couldnít use this, were better at memory  (In my opinion, this didnít work out that well).  The more they used the map, the less they needed it.  By the end of the week, students knew their parts!

          To make a long project short, we sketched out the pieces that were crucial to their fables, eventually drew and cut them out on felt, and practiced with their team until they were close to being performed. My kids are so proud and feel so professional.  It is a great project and really adds to oral language, literature, and drama.

          Since then, we have been giving presentations to classes all throughout the school three days a week.  My students feel so important and take this so seriously.  The comments and compliments from the teachers, students, and other staff members are wonderful.  Other students from other classes ask their teachers why they canít do such fun things as the students in my classroom. 

I am also proud to say that teachers are starting to see what I am doing and have asked if it is ok that their class does a certain project too.  Overall, this project is so real to my students and has really motivated them to involve themselves with their learning. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  storytelling will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.