Looking for a fun way to foster public speaking skills in your upper elementary school students? Try introducing a storytelling project!
How it works:
- Set aside about a week for this project.
- After listening to you model a retelling of a popular story using expression and simple props, the students each pick a different favorite children’s story or fairy tale. (For a great list of download-able fairy tales, check out this site).
- As a class, brainstorm the elements of good storytelling (eye contact with audience, props, hand motions, expressive voice, etc.)
- Students begin learning their own story by memory, first by rewriting the story onto paper and then by making note cards about the story’s main ideas.
- Students gather simple props and practice telling their story to a partner, using this evaluative form (click here to download) to provide constructive feedback to each other.
- Then, have your students tell their story to the whole class.
- On the final day of the project, have your students perform their stories either for an audience of parents or for a class of younger children. First-graders LOVE to be the audience for this project!
- Use this rubric (click here to download) to evaluate students.
Students love getting to work with their favorite childhood stories, and storytelling puts a fun spin on traditional public speaking/oral reading assignments. The key is to model it first, discuss elements of effective storytelling, and provide plenty of opportunities to practice before the final performance day.
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