11/28/2012 - It's Elementary
Each week, I work with Nan Wilkinson’s 5th & 6th grade class at Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center – Phoenix, AZ

Story Leads You Where You Need to Go
Theo told about a gorilla named Gordon. He added as an aside, “of course, you all know that all gorillas’ names start with ‘g’”. Gordon was shunned by the other gorillas. This led to a discussion about “asides” and also “universal themes” of feeling ostracized and also being on the side of the group doing the ostracizing.

Kira told about how she was frightened when her brother came home and scared her by pretending to be a burglar. Questions from the other students led to a discussion about how to add more details by showing emotions.
Gabby told a story about four turkeys who had the “best” hiding place, but were still frightened of being caught by hunters. They "mumbled and grumbled." This led to discussing personification and characterization.
Zoey told about being chased by some dogs until she realized she might know who these dogs were. When she stopped and turned around, all the dogs thought, “Wait a minute, we know you. We don’t have to kill you.” Her “deadpan” expression was priceless.
The focus for the day was “show don’t tell” through characterization. The assignment for next week: Choose one of the seven dwarves and “show” us that dwarf, using voice, facial expression, gestures and body. Can’t wait to see them. It should be noted that, not surprisingly, Zoey asked, “Can we do all of the dwarves?” Love that kid!
Side note about asides: I mentioned that Groucho Marx was the “master” of asides. Nan decided that she will show some Marx Brothers’ in the class next week. Last week she showed Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” routine. Love that teacher!

©Mark Goldman 2012

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For more information contact Mark Goldman - 602-390-3858 - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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