Teacher Workshop on Storytelling by an Author

Posted by on Apr 4, 2023 in School News | Comments Off

A workshop on storytelling and poetry was organised for the teachers by The Indian School, on 20 March, 2023. The workshop was conducted by Ms Sutapa Basu, award-winning Indian author, most known for her works, Dangle, Padmavati and The Legend of Genghis Khan: Untold Story of the Conqueror.

Storytelling, the art of narrating a tale from memory rather than reading, is one of the oldest of all art forms. It promotes language learning by enriching the learners’ vocabulary and acquiring new language structures. Storytelling involves two elements- selection and delivery. A successful storyteller must be a good performer, for the delivery is crucial and requires both preparation and rehearsal.

The workshop focused on how storytelling and poetry can be used as effective tools in the teaching- learning process.

Ms Basu began by narrating the story, ‘The Emperor and The Nightingale’ as the teachers listened in rapt attention, mesmerised by her inimitable style- the rise and fall of her voice, her perfect pauses and pitch that evoked interest and piqued the curiosity of the audience. The teachers could witness the ideal way of narrating a story, unravel right before their eyes!

The activity that followed the narration aimed at developing, amongst the listeners, skills such as listening, speaking, vocabulary, phonics, structure and grammar usage. Also understanding narratives, characters, and conflicts. Since stories are the easiest way to engage young learners, it unconsciously develops multiple skills.

As a storyteller, one must keep certain points in mind while choosing a story. The story must be age-appropriate and the length of the story should be in accordance to the age group. Spoken words, voice, gestures, body language and facial expressions are some of the storytelling components which one must make the best use of, while narrating a story. Ms Basu explained the basic elements of storytelling, vis., plot, character, conflict and setting, apart from sharing with the audience, ideas on how to select stories, how to embed captivating language in order to engage the audience.

The second part of the workshop that focused on poetry, began with an activity where the participants heard an audio of the poem “The Muffin Man.” Ms Basu then discussed ways to encourage students to compose poems and that, how poetry can be used as a prompt in the classroom. She recommended that students be divided into groups and made to write lines on a given topic which could later be put together as a poem. The result of this collaborative effort, she said, would certainly be a joyful experience for the students. Ms Basu suggested using a template for students to organise their thoughts rhythmically, in order to facilitate the composing of a poem.

The workshop by Ms Sutapa Basu was a valuable experience for the teachers as it provided them with useful tools and techniques to incorporate storytelling and poetry in classroom teaching.

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