Although our last integrated theme study ended at winter break, I wanted to capture it’s excellence on the blog and share and celebrate the students’ amazing “behind the scenes” literacy work! We began our study with the question: Why do people tell stories? We listened to amazing folklore, investigated elements of story and engaged in dramatic retells as we constructed our answer: 1. To entertain 2. To teach you how to behave 3. To tell you why it’s like that. Students then focused in on a specific genre of folktale: porquoi stories; stories that connected to our past work in mysteries since porquoi tales attempt to explain the mysteries of the universe. We worked and played alongside our guest artist in residence and former Trillium advisor, Jeremy as we chose stories, partners and places to focus and practice. We story mapped, story plotted and story mountained quality folklore from all over the world. We told our stories across our fingers, played drama games and discussed important storytelling elements, like face expression, body movement and sound effects to individually and creatively story-tell. Students studied color and symbol and then collaborated to make hand painted banners that captured big ideas of character, setting and porquoi in symbol. Storytellers were supported with integrated literacy work in both readers’ and writers’ workshop as well as peer feedback in the form of “golden nuggets and bittersweet chocolate”. Students produced advertising for the culminating event(s), A storytelling festival and multiple storytelling “gigs” around school.
The storytellers were awe-inspiring. They were brave, bold and brilliant!