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.
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.
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.
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!