Teacher Note: This series of lessons has been presented as a means of easily integrating an Aboriginal storytelling experience as one selection within a short story unit.
Students will demonstrate pride and satisfaction in using language to create and express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
Students will create a variety of academic, technical, and personal communications; including poems, stories, personal esays, oral and written reports, group presentations, and informal dramatizations.
- view/listen to a video about the naming of a child
- compare the oral version of a story to the written version
- determine whether or not a story meets the criteria of a short story.
Students will compare a short story with a student generated list of criteria and write a reflection on their comparison.
Activate Prior Knowledge:
- Divide the students into groups of three. Students choose the role of the recorder, reporter or summarizer. First, they brainstorm the elements of a good story, and the recorder writes all responses on a sheet of paper. Once sufficient time has passed, they help the summarizer put it together into a succinct description of the group’s criteria for a good story. The reporter then shares the group’s description with the class.
- While listening, the teacher pulls out elements such as plot, character, etc., reinforcing or introducing short story terminology. This material will become the basis for a set of class notes on short story terms and can be supplemented as required.
- Ask students to indicate through a show of hands if they prefer listening to stories or read them. Briefly acknowledge the different learning styles.
Predict and Question:
Tell students that they will hear the story ‘Naming Day’ by Gerald Peters. Ask the students to predict what the story is about given the title. Questions: “What are they wondering about?”
will listen/watch ‘Naming Day’ and use a Listen-Sketch-Draft strategy to aid comprehension. They sketch what they are hearing, and the teacher pauses the video at two key spots.
First, when the buck drops, stop the video. Ask the students to summarize what they have heard so far and indicate their personal response. Allow students time to share their responses with an A/B partner and ask for volunteers to share with the class. Then, tell the students to resume sketching while they listen to part two.
Continue the video
until the moment that the narrator meets his mother and she says, “It’s not your fault; it’s not your fault – sometimes these things happen.” Pause the video and repeat the above process. Again, allow students time to share their responses.
Continue the video until the end of the story, and students sketch in the third section of their page. Repeat the process explained above. When you have finished the classroom sharing, ask each student the effectiveness of this listening strategy by responding on the bottom of the sketch sheet.
Students will compare the oral presentation to the written version of the story (Please print transcript from the above link). In small groups, students read the written version of the story and use a Venn Diagram worksheet to indicate the similarities and differences between the two versions. Ask them to discuss possible reasons for these differences. Ultimately, we want them to see that the core of the story is the same, even though some of the details may change in the oral telling. Finally, each student indicates his or her personal preference to the way the story is presented.
Using the criteria previously generated in their groups, students analyze whether or not ‘Naming Day’ meets the criteria for a short story. Then, by using a reflection sheet/journal, students write a short piece giving reasons why the story may/may not be a good short story. They should include at least three elements of their criteria to compare.
Students write a reflection about what they felt they did well in this writing activity and what they found difficult.
Extend learning or next lesson
- Students reread the story and complete a visual plot profile summary; identifying five distinct time frames in the story.
- Students create their own short story. Using the attached framework on developing fictional characters, the students can develop a rough draft of a basic story. This is a good opportunity for the students to familiarize themselves with the BC Performance Standards Quick Scale for writing stories.