Storytelling: Performance and Art Learning Center

Part I: Telling Stories Without Words

1. Begin by activating students' existing knowledge about how stories can be told without words. Ask the following questions:

   a. Does anybody know how to play charades?
   b. Can somebody remind me of the rules?
   c. How can you tell a story without words?

2. Play a game of charades in class, except that instead of titles or names, the students write names of well-known stories (such as folk tales or oral traditions from your region) on a sheet of paper. The opposite side's task is to act out the story so their teammates can guess it. For example, if the team actor gets the story, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," it is her job to act out all parts from beginning to end, hoping her teammates will guess the name of the story quickly.

3. Now, ask students to think about why writers start writing. Discuss the following questions:

   a. Why do you think writers start to make something?
   b. Why do you think some stories are important to write or important to tell?