8/29/2012 - It's Elementary
Each week, I work with Nan Wilkinson’s 5th & 6th grade class at Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center – Phoenix, AZ

Anthony Returns
As I walked from the office to the classroom, I began thinking about Anthony, from last year’s class, who has now moved on to another grade. I wondered if he was in a different building now, or whether I could find him to say hello. Then, I walked into the class, and there he was! Smiling from ear to ear, and gave me a big hug. He had heard that I was back and asked the teacher if he could come to say hello and tell a story. It was a great surprise and a joy to see him.

I reviewed the Five Ps with the students and they remembered all of them! One of the boys asked if “protagonist” was one of the Ps (these kids are amazing). What a great word he came up with. I explained that protagonist means first actor. In the Greek theatre, the protagonist, or hero, was the first actor to come on stage (after the chorus). That way everyone knew who the hero, or the main character was.
We talked about the different kinds of stories, like folktales, fairytales, personal stories, historical, biographical, and even porquoi stories.
We put up the Story Circle poster I created and reviewed the steps of experiencing someone telling a story. Then Anthony got up to tell his story. He was really fantastic! He sang and told the story of “Albi, the racist dragon” (originally sung by The Flight of the Conchords). It was a sweet tale and he did an amazing job! His timing was impeccable. All the kids were leaning in and listening. I was so proud of him. And they all had great appreciations and some good questions for him.
We talked about what was happening in the news, and about Neil Armstrong passing away last week. They knew he was the first man to walk on the moon, and that John Glenn was the first American in space. They knew that the first man in space was a Russian, but couldn’t remember his name, Yuri Gagarin.
I told my original tale of The First Picnic on Earth, and about half of the class chimed in at the end with the response, "Stonehenge." The great thing is that the ones who didn't know, asked what it was. So often, kids are intimidated and keep quiet when they don't understand something. Not these kids! Nan will plan to do a short lesson on Stonehenge.
Their assignment for next week: Think about One Good Day in their life, and come up with what the title of the story of that day would be.

©Mark Goldman 2012

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


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