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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

After Storytelling

Talking with students about their listening experience after the story has been told is an important way to develop their "story sense". As well, discussing what they have heard allows students to reflect on the interpretations each of them has of story and how their own unique life experiences and prior knowledge affect those interpretations. Students need time to explore thoughts and feelings about story characters and events.

When a storyteller is ready to examine his or her storytelling style, the teacher might make arrangements to have the storytelling process either audiotaped or videotaped. Students need to be reminded that the storytelling process is what is important: the shaping of the story, its restructuring, and the discovery of what it was in the story that mattered to them. Although students will strive for improvement, performing a story in a polished way is not the primary purpose.

If an audio recording is used for self-assessment, storytellers might listen for the effectiveness of the use of pauses, intonation, phrasing, certain sound effects, timing, repetition, or voice pitch and volume. They can chart these on a checklist they have created for this purpose. If a video recording is used, they might wish to assess posture, effectiveness of visual aids, hand gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. After viewing or listening to the tape and completing the checklist, students could identify one or two areas for improvement.
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