2/6/2013 - It's Elementary
Each week, I work with Nan Wilkinson’s 5th & 6th grade class at Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center – Phoenix, AZ

Bare Bones Stories and Your Image Engine
What a great flow for the morning with the 5th & 6th graders!

Each of the 32 students got up today and told the “bare bones” of their story. Some told the sequence of events. Some had the first and last line and what the problem was. Most importantly – EVERYONE got up and said something!
We discussed moving on and expanding your story with more details. Natasha’s story of Why We Use the Phrase "Rise and Shine" was a great example. The beginning of the bare bones is “The Sun was tired from doing all his tasks, so he went into a cave and hid.” Now I asked how we could expand on that. Natasha said that she could add a list of tasks that made him tired. The kids brainstormed different tasks: shining brightly; warming the earth; having solar flares; making things grow, etc.
Charlie said he was using “indirect indicators” to tell a story about “someone” who lived “somewhere” and began eating broccoli. We discussed what other possibilities there might be for his story. “What if” he used ONLY indirect indicators? The class responded: something, sometime, somehow, somebody, someday, someplace, etc. I added that you could make up your own words or phrases, like: some color; some food; some joyful noise. I think they got the idea.
Zoey wanted to tell an “improv” story based on something she heard from Charlie. She is quite amazing.
All of you know about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But do you know what he did before he had the Chocolate Factory? He made broccoli! It was Willy Wonka’s Broccoli Factory. But no one came to buy broccoli...
When doing improv (which the kids have done before) we had talked about using and trusting your “image engine” (one again, thanks Laura Packer!). So we discussed using the same process of “imagery” while crafting a non-improv story. One of the kid’s stories was about an alligator, so I asked them to come up with images for alligator: dark; green; long nose; scaly; scary; amphibious; sharp teeth; gigantic; hungry and my favorite, silent killer.
A pretty good day for storytelling.

©Mark Goldman 2013

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


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