Sharing Talents

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

Students will demonstrate effective storytelling technique, working with younger students. Students will design a Web page about their story writing experience. Teacher Note: The Web page is an optional activity.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintFive to Seven Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learners will:

  • identify and demonstrate effective techniques used in story presentations to younger children.
  • design a Web page about their story writing experience
Materials 
  • Story Presentation Techniques (Handout One)
  • Behavior Scenarios (Handout Two)
  • Student’s stories created in Lesson Three: Peace by Piece
  • Field Trip permission slip to travel to an elementary building
  • Blank paper for each of the younger children
  • Several sets of crayons (or have the younger children each bring a set of crayons)
  • How Did It Go? (Handout Three)
  • A copy of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • A copy of A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • Web Page Design (Handout Four)
Home Connection 

Instruct students to practice reading their selection a couple of times for homework. Have them present to a parent and another person of their choice.

Bibliography 
  • Pfister, Marcus. The Rainbow Fish. New York: North-South Books, 1992.
     
  • Williams, Vera B. A Chair For My Mother. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1982.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:Journal Entry: What is the difference between reading a story to the class and presenting a story? Go over responses as a whole group.

    Day One:

  2. Explain to students that they will be reading to an elementary class. Each student will be assigned one or two students. Distribute copies of Story Presentation Techniques (Handout One). Go over the categories together. Tell students to focus on proper story presentation as the class shares the next story. Present the story, The Rainbow Fish. Ask students to identify (using the columns under The Rainbow Fish) what techniques were used in the presentation to make the book come alive.

  3. Introduce the idea of coaching to the students by explaining that along with presentation techniques, students need to understand the importance of being sensitive to their audience. Spend a few minutes talking about their position as a coach. A good coach doesn’t point out what you are doing wrong, but guides you. Students will be required to “guide” their peers as they practice their presentation. This should be done by pointing out what their partners have done very well and what changes they might consider to be even better. Put students in groups of three and have them take turns presenting their stories to their partners. Each student should take a turn presenting. The others should complete the columns on the technique handout. After each student presents, the group should spend a few minutes “coaching” their partners.

  4. Explain the homework task. Instruct students to practice their story presentation techniques by reading to two different people at home. Have the “listeners” check the boxes in column four or five while they are listening. Then have the “listeners” sign the bottom of their column. Tell students they will have two evenings to complete this assignment. Encourage them to practice at least one time each evening.

  5. Day Two:

  6. Explain to students that they will be asking their young listeners to respond to the story presentation by creating a picture depicting their favorite part of the story. During the next story presentation they will be asked to practice this procedure. Instruct students to take out Story Presentation Techniques (Handout One) from yesterday and turn it over to the blank side of the handout. They are to fold a narrow column on the left side of the handout, which is to be left empty for now. On the remaining space of the paper, have students take a few minutes to draw their favorite part of the story or a picture of what was learned by the story (which is what they will be asking their listeners to do without folding their papers).

  7. Read the story,  A Chair for My Mother. Ask if there was any act of philanthropy in the story. Because the items were used that were shared with the family after the fire, could the giving of them still be considered an act of philanthropy? Do students feel that those who donated the household furnishings actually thought of themselves as philanthropists? After the discussion, give students time to create their drawings.

  8. Once the class has completed their drawings, instruct them to use the empty column to brainstorm questions they might ask the younger students about their stories. Tell them to make the questions generic so that they can be used for any story. (Remind them it might be most effective to ask questions while the young child is working.) They should not make judgments about quality or content of the students’ work. Instead they may say, “Tell me about your drawing. How did the story make you feel?” Have students then ask how the story related to their listeners’ lives. This may sound like, “Has anything like this ever happened to you or someone you know?” Explain that often times children will either be extremely quiet or will want to “talk continually” to the presenter. If they get a talker, they should allow the child to talk a bit before the story and tell them to listen very carefully because they will be asked to talk about the story after they have heard it.

  9. Day Three:

  10. Talk about possible situations students may encounter when working with younger children. They will need to help guide some of the students to stay on-task. Go over some of the techniques they might use to keep students focused. Remind them that any difficult behaviors need to be addressed by the teacher of the class. Students may wish to set up a signal system to allow younger students to let them know they need assistance.

  11. Put students into groups of three. Give them a copy of the Behavior Scenario (Handout Two). Have them discuss the behaviors and the decisions and consequences that follow. Have them report to the class (if time permits).

  12. Day Four:

  13. Presentations. Before leaving the building, make sure students have all materials necessary to complete their presentations: their stories, paper for their listeners, pencils and colored pencils or crayons.

  14. Upon arrival at the elementary building, partner students up with one middle-school student to one or two elementary child/children. (Teacher’s Note: I have had the greatest success with this in an area that is large enough for the students to spread out in groups on the floor, like the gymnasium. It is much easier to monitor and trouble-shoot any problems.) Instruct the students to share the story twice. Before the second reading they can have the children watch for special words, pictures or actions.

  15. Upon returning to the classroom, distribute a copy of How Did It Go? (Handout Three) and have students complete the information. (This may be used for homework if time is limited.) Share the information in a whole group discussion.

  16. Day Five: (May take more than one day)

  17. Introduce the Web page activity by sharing sample Web pages. Distribute the Web Page Design (Handout Four) and go over the instructions together. Have students start by writing their three articles. Instruct them to complete any of the writing at home.

  18. Place students in groups of three to design a Web page. Teacher’s Note: Once students have completed their Web pages, the instructor should add the pages to a class introduction page by linking each group’s pages to the classroom page.

Assessment 

Journal entries, Story Presentation Techniques (Handout One), How Did It Go? (Handout Three), Web Page Design (Handout Four) and the completed Web page may be used as assessments.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will pair up with children from an elementary classroom and share their stories.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Define civic virtue.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      3. Benchmark MS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      4. Benchmark MS.6 Describe the procedures and the importance of sensitivity to the people with whom students are working.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.