Storytelling is an amazing art and every culture has its own narrative of sharing for entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values. Students grow up hearing stories about their families from family members and friends.
The students are going to have their own chance to participate in a continuous story. One student starts the story and is given a certain amount of time for telling it. Another student will continue the story and each student will have a chance to add to it.
The teacher will use ePals and submit their idea to find another classroom to collaborate together in the story. The students will learn about each other's cultures and lives through the storytelling.
- Understand what storytelling is.
- Be able to participate in storytelling.
- Be able to be part of a continuous story.
- Learn how to collaborate with others.
Storytelling: Storytelling is the activity of telling or writing stories.
Collaborate: To collaborate is to be able to work well with others.
To prepare for this lesson:
- The teacher will create an ePal account and submit a collaboration project to ePals. ePals is a free service where teachers can submit projects to work with other classrooms throughout the world.
- Read about the ePals Global Community and how to use the site effectively.
- The project will be a continuous story project where the students will start a story and the other class will continue it. The story will go back and forth between the two classes and essentially could be a never-ending story.
- The teacher can pick a topic for the story.
- The teacher can have the students each find a picture or photo to be part of the story. The student will start the story about his/her picture and the next student will use his/her picture to continue the story.
- Pick an appropriate time limit for the students.
- The two classrooms would get together possibly monthly throughout the year and each time have several students participate from each classroom until all students have participated by the end of the school year.
- This should be a fun project for the students to improve their listening skills as they listen to the person ahead of them tell the story. The students will become more creative as the year goes by, The only thing is to make sure the students know that the story should make some sense with the stories that were told before.
- Make sure to get your project in early enough to ePals to start it in the early fall. There are thousands of projects on the site and there may be a similar collaboration already on the site.
- If you know another teacher in another town, state, or country, contact the teacher to see if he/she is willing to do a collaboration project. Another country or region would be very interesting as the stories from the different classrooms will have a slightly different perspective. You can use Google Meet, Zoom, or other preferred video conferencing software.
- The students may have never participated in a videoconference before. You will want to teach the basic rules of being polite, listening to others, and not talking until it is their turn. You will want to have them practice talking into a microphone, speaking loudly and slowly enough for everyone to hear and understand them.
See Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students.net site in the Teacher Resources.
Directions for this activity:
- The teacher will set up a collaboration in ePals for a continuous story.
- The students will learn about storytelling and practice telling stories about their pets, their favorite movie, things to do, etc. Give each student a time limit of a minute or two.
- Tell the students that they are going to collaborate with another classroom to create a continuous story together. Each student will have chance to participate at least once during the year. Note: The teacher might want to record the storytelling so that the continuous story can be played to the students at the end of the year.
- The two teachers will decide if the story is going to be on a certain topic. The students can choose a picture to share and the story will include what is in the picture. This will give the students something to talk about so they are not stumbling during their turn.
- Tell the students this is supposed to be fun and that they will learn more about each other through the storytelling.
- Have the students practice ahead of time with a microphone and make sure they understand the basic rules when they are video conferencing with another classroom.
Different options for assessing the students:
- Check for understanding
- Create a short rubric to measure how each student did during their story. If the students each have two times to tell the story, their performance can be measured to see if they improved the second time.
MITECS Competencies & ISTE Standards
MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.
7a. Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
7b. Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.
7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
Devices and Resources
CONTENT AREA RESOURCES
The students learn about the art of storytelling.
- The students can choose an art picture for the story.
- The student can draw their own picture to share with the other students and the classroom.
Depending on the topic, the students can learn about each other's regions and cultures.
This task card was created by Melissa White, 21Things Project Manager, REMC Association, April 2018. Updated October 2o23.