Teaching English and Drama: from art to words
After a few retellings, children become more fluent. Build up the story, scene by scene, until they can retell the whole tale. Depending on the length of the tale, the children's age and confidence, this may take up to a week. Listen to pairs retelling, making suggestions about what works well and ideas for development. Model retelling the sections yourself.
Use actions to make the storytelling more memorable. If the children are very familiar with the tale, many of them will be able to retell the story almost word for word. However, this should not be a memory test so encourage children to develop the tale in their own ways. It helps if they can 'see' what is happening in their minds.
How the story is told
Consider the following points:
- Most importantly, can the story be heard?
- Are the words spoken clearly?
- Is the volume varied in relation to the meaning?
- Are dramatic pauses used at the right moment?
- Have any key words been emphasised?
- Are the words spoken with expression?
- Does the teller use facial, hand gestures or body movements to reinforce meaning?
- Does any movement detract from the telling?
- Does the teller scan the audience, drawing everyone into the tale?
Develop the retelling
Take different sections and develop description, characterisation, dialogue, suspense and action. Craft an engaging opening and satisfying ending. Once the children can retell the story in their own words, use shared writing to craft the language further.
Next: Innovating the story