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April 14, 2011

Lesson Ideas for Tell A Story Day

Written By: Brandi Jordan
X Lesson Ideas for Tell A Story Day

Lesson Ideas for Tell A Story Day

Reading may be a difficult subject for some of your students, but chances are that just about all of them can tell a story.  April 27th is Tell A Story Day and it is the perfect opportunity for encouraging story telling in your classroom.  Check out some of the options for activities below and pick the ones that will capture your students’ interests and be perfect for their ability levels.

Tell A Story Day Activities

Oral History Traditions

Traditions and stories have long been passed down by word of mouth.  From Native American history to the storytelling by slaves in the South, the history of generations was traditionally passed down through stories.  Encourage students to pick an event in their own history, whether at home or at school, and present it to their classmates.  Not only will they be able to share an event that was important to them, but it will also help to strengthen their self-confidence and presentation skills.

Fill-in-the-Blanks

Most teachers remember Mad Libs and how much fun they had completing them when they were young.  Use Tell A Story Day as the perfect excuse to break out a fill-in-the-blanks story with your students.  It is a great opportunity to practice recalling different parts of speech.  Prepare for a lot of laughter and some very happy children after a few rounds of silly, fill-in-the-blanks stories!

He Said, She Said

Take Tell A Story Day in a whole different direction by discussing tattling and gossiping.  Tell A Story Day, while originally intended as a positive day, can turn into an opportunity to discuss the effects of negative behavior on others.  Have students play Whisper Down the Lane and discuss how the original message gets diluted and confused by the time it ends up at the last person.  Not only do generic sentences get mixed-up, but so too do rumors and gossip.  Talk about different strategies to prevent and stop tattling and gossiping when it occurs.

Readers’ Theater

Tell A Story Day is the perfect opportunity to do a Readers’ Theater lesson.  Choose a play that talks about a topic you are currently studying in class.  Give students a chance to present it to their classmates, and if possible, present it to a younger grade.  Your students will love performing and the younger class will be excited to have the “big kids” visiting.

Class Collaboration

Get everyone involved with a collaborative story.  Start by writing an open ended sentence and go around the room having each child add another sentence to the story.  For example, you may begin with, “One sunny spring morning at Pine Elementary School, the students were caught…”  The next person will complete the sentence and continue until they also create a sentence that will be completed by the next person.  Continue around the room, recording the story on the white board, as the students complete it.  You may want to establish clear guidelines about what is and is not appropriate to include in the story before you begin.

Tell A Story Day is a great way to celebrate all types of stories and share them with your students.  What are some of your favorite ways to encourage storytelling in the classroom?  Share with us!

 

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  • Donald F.
    April 13, 2012

    Don’t forget to involve parents. I am planning on bringing in parents/grandparents to tell or read a story also. Allowing their voice and creativity in a different way the whole group is great for everyone.

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  • Reagan B
    April 17, 2011

    These are all great ideas! My students love telling their stories and I think that the oral storytelling is a great way for them to tell their stories in order to get their thoughts together before they write them during Writer’s Workshop. It works great!

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  • Barbara G.
    April 15, 2011

    I love to do social stories with my kids – we pick a theme based on what’s going on in their lives and they fill in the blanks and tell their story!

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  • Amanda Lally
    April 14, 2011

    I teach third grade and i try to incorporate different ideas into my reading groups to keep it interesting for my students. I have groups doing independent projects that go along with the books they are reading. I am also using reader’s theater with one of my groups and they absolutely love it! It gives them a chance to work together using their story to create a performance to show the rest of the class as well as other classes at our school. It is the best strategy I have used to excite students about reading.

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  • Jennifer Lacy
    April 14, 2011

    My students L.O.V.E. fill-in-the-blank stories! They are great for reviewing parts of speech as well as selecting specific, exciting vocabulary. The kids also have a lot of fun with collaborative storytelling. We’ve had some amazing stories come from our class of 26. The students learn so much from reading their peers’ writing. Today, we practiced “passing notes” to create stories through responsive writing (like Sharon Creech’s book Love That Dog).

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  • Helen Zebrowski
    April 14, 2011

    I loved all the ideas for Tell a Story Day. My student’s love Reader’s Theater and I would like to try the Mad Libs. Thanks for all the great ideas!!!!!!

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  • Casey
    April 14, 2011

    I LOVE readers theater!! The kids eat it up. They always want to make sets and really act them out.

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  • Kelly
    April 14, 2011

    This year my first graders just LOVE to do Reader’s Theatre! In the past the kids have liked it, but this group just loves, loves, loves to perform and use different voices for their parts! I love it too!

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  • Brenda
    April 14, 2011

    I just found a super easy readers theater for my Kindergarten students. I can not wait to try iy!

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  • Angela
    April 14, 2011

    I love the idea of Tell a Story day. I think I’m going to organize several of these ideas into a daylong Tell-athon!

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  • Rayna
    April 14, 2011

    When I have subbed in a room before the kids had to do Readers’ Theater and they really liked it. I think it is the best thing to get them used to talking in front of groups of people.

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  • Heidi
    April 14, 2011

    I teach preschool and I have many storytellers. My kids would love a day dedicated to just that!

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  • Pam
    April 14, 2011

    These are great ideas! My students always enjoy Readers’ Theater – I can’t wait to try some of the other ideas here!

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  • Teri
    April 14, 2011

    It is fun to discover your “hams” when you implement Reader’s Theatre. We are studying notable people, so we are able to integrate Social Studies and reading. Integration is critical in order to teach all standards and curriculum.

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  • Amy
    April 14, 2011

    I use Reader’s theater because it keeps my students engaged in what we are reading. I teach an special ed class and it is often hard to keep their attention. I also like reader’s theater because it helps those who needs extra help with fluency.

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  • Linda Sandlin
    April 14, 2011

    A really fun way to create story is to truly “weave” a story.Seat all of your students in a circle. Using a ball of yarn, the first child holds onto the yarn and begins the story making sure to include a character and setting in the first sentence. The student rolls the yarn to another student while still holding onto a piece of the yarn and that student adds another detail. By the time the yarn is passed to everyone, not only has a story been created, so has a “spider web” of yarn. The yarn also helps with classroom management because only the student that receives the yarn can be speaking.

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  • Tangenia Jones
    April 14, 2011

    I love all of these ideas. He said, She said is always fun and infomative for the students. It teaches them a great lesson as well. I love Reader’s Theater, because struggling readers love it as much as the other students. I think I will use the collaborative story idea to creat an end-of-the-year story.

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  • Maria Tutterow
    April 14, 2011

    I love Reader’s Theater. My students enjoy it as well. It is a great way to develop fluency and teach the importance of paying attention (you won’t know when to say your lines if you are chatting with a buddy or daydreaming!). Just recently, my students and I wrote a hilarious story together. I have never seen my students so excited about writing!

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  • Kris Mertens
    April 14, 2011

    Just did some great mad libs today, the kids love them and a great way to work on parts of speech. A second favorite is group story writing. The kids get a story starter, and I give them 3 minutes to start the story, then they pass the story and the next person continues, I continue to time and pass until it has made it around the group. The person who started gets to put the ending on and read the story. They love it and we end up with some great stories.

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  • Cheryl Deutschman
    April 14, 2011

    My classes are doing an Author Study on Patricia Polacco who is soooo great at writing down her personal and past oral history. God Bless Firetalking!!!!! The kids are doing their own stories from oral histories and are very entertaining!!!!!! Kids love telling about themselves!!!! :O)

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  • Christine
    April 14, 2011

    I love the collaboration story. They make for a great laugh. Also, I love reader’s theatre and Mad Libs.

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  • cindy garcia
    April 14, 2011

    One way that I have my students share their stories is by having them create digital stories & having their friends help read the stories during classroom presentation. Some examples are powerpoint, flicharts and movie maker movies.

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  • Missy Shanahan
    April 14, 2011

    My second graders love to tell stories. We worked hard on this verbally early in the year and have moved to writing them down. They really enjoy writing their stories then reading each others. It’s especially exciting for them when the author uses quotation marks so that they can talk in voice and with expression.

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  • Maria Y
    April 14, 2011

    I was thinking about doing the story activity where each child adds a sentence. I think I may just have to do that now!

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  • diane
    April 14, 2011

    When I was in school, our teacher would start the story then call on a student to add the next line. that student would call on another and so on and so on until the story finshed. the teacher would write the story down as it unfolded then read it back to us. she gave us a copy for editting and revising. it was great fun!

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  • Cyndi
    April 14, 2011

    My second grade students love to do readers theater. Scholastic news has even had a couple in thier issues this year. One on Abe Lincoln and another on Earth Day!

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  • Heather Atkison
    April 14, 2011

    I love using readers theater for students who need fluency practice. It is a great fun way to work on reading and reading faster. I also let them use props and dress up for their play they are putting on for us. Many students love this because they often play multiple parts! LOL It is so cute and awesome to see third graders doing this!

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  • Kimberly Collatos
    April 14, 2011

    I really liked reading about the different ways to celebrate Tell a Story Day. I think that all of the strategies presented are fun ways to help children learn to be creative. I love Reader’s Theater. We try to do those often in our class and put on a performance. I, also, like Mad Libs because I really like to focus on Grammar. I think it is fun and educational. I really like that they must use their imagination. I am always on the look out for new ways to have fun and learn at the same time. 🙂

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  • Diane Valenzuela
    April 14, 2011

    Readers theater is the best! I teach middle school and THEY love it! Their end of the year project will consist of students writing their own script & presenting it to the class.

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  • Lori A
    April 14, 2011

    I like the Fill-in-the-Blank stories. We have tried several of the others on the list through out the year so this would be something new to try.

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  • Whitney
    April 14, 2011

    Class Collaboration has always been one of my favorite things to do with children. You get such unique and interesting stories! 😀
    Awesome stuff!

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  • Reem Fakhry
    April 14, 2011

    I have never used readers theater before but we do a lot of role playing. the students love being given a role to play and show their imaginative side. I have found that this builds a sense of empathy other view points that they may not be aware of until they have been given the role. Wonderful work.

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  • Erica McCain
    April 14, 2011

    I am a second year teacher and was doing a lot of reader theaters activities last year. I was surprised at how much the kids improved in their reading and memorization skills. It was also fun to see them at the end of the year when they were adding fluctuation to their reading! Awesome article!

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  • Julianna Mann
    April 14, 2011

    I think the Mad Libs/Fill in the Blanks activities are a great way to teach and reinforce the parts of speech. I teach first grade and have covered nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. First graders would love to do these activities. We could complete one or more as a class until they understood and then let them complete with partners. This could even be a center activity during small group reading.

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  • Melissa Feldman
    April 14, 2011

    I especially like the paragraph on tattling and the game whisper down the lane. It would be a fun way to show how rumors get started and distorted as they get being passed along.

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  • Sarah Carper
    April 14, 2011

    I love reader’s theater! I enjoy watching the kids read through the plays and the kids love nothing more to act out the plays. I especially love watching the young children (first graders) who are new readers but who can read so well with readers theater!

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