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Act!Ivating Students Through Storytelling

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Keywords: Language Arts, Podcasting, Storytelling
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Geography, Podcasting, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Drama
Grade 4
School: Northside Elementary School, Elizabeth Cty, NC
Original Author: JESSICA PRAYER, Elizabeth Cty
I will begin the unit of storytelling by performing the Chinese tale “Peach Blossom Spring,” which is about a poor Chinese fisherman who discovers a secret land where people from an ancient time live quietly and at peace with one another. They are removed from the modern world or material things and greed. During the story, I will ask the students to think about what they would bring with them, if they were going to live in this ancient time. How would they adjust to this new place? Following my performance we will chart the elements I used to present the folktale in a lively way. I will then do a picture walk of the story showing students illustrations from the book. We will pay close attention to the clothes and Chinese painting that accurately portray the time period represented in China. Students will then create a craft related to a picture that was significant to them from the story. After discussion, we will vote on who would choose to stay in the modern world (with family, friends, and modern attractions), and who would choose to go with the fisherman to a world in some perfect manner?

The culminating activity will be the production of a podcast. Students will be placed in groups and allowed to choose a folktale they would like to bring to life. Students will design masks which will represent the characters they will be performing. They will perform the folktale in front of the class before filming the podcast. After their class performance, students will listen to questions and feedback from their classmates and teacher about their performance. The groups will then record their podcast with the changes they believe will enhance their performance.

This project will enrich the folktale experience by allowing students to examine the culture that produced it, as well as empowering student's creativity by infusing technology into their learning.
Materials: Flip Video, Microscopes, Podcasting
Other Items: 3 Flip Video, $179.99 each, total of $539.97
2 ipod Nano, $179.99 each, total of $359.98
2 iTalk Voice Recorder, $28.99 each, total of $57.98
1 Chart Pad, $10.99 each, total of $10.99
1 Multicultural Folktales, $45.00 each, total of $45.00