The art of storytelling

‘Africa has a wonderfully rich store of folk tales that have been passed down from one generation to the next. There are stories about how the world came into being, stories that tell of the relationships between human beings and between man and his environment, and of the lessons to be learned from everyday experience … The Best of African Folklore takes the reader into an enchanted world where animals can talk and humans are often changed into different forms, where magic is commonplace and reality is turned delightfully on its head. Despite numerous setbacks, things usually turn out all right in the end. Wicked and greedy people (and animals) come off worst and the good receive their just rewards. The gods are stern but fair, and every story has a moral for those who are wise enough to see it.’
–  From the blurb of The Best of African Folklore by Phyllis Savory, published by Random Struik (2014).

Storytelling is a gift which some people are born with. It is also a skill which can be taught. If you would like to help your learners to develop these skills download a free worksheet called ‘Tips for Storytelling’ from our website.

There are many collections of folktales teachers can draw on for use in Drama classes – The Best of African Folklore is just one of them. Here are a few ideas which you can use to encourage children to write and present their own folktales.

Take the narrative of any published folktale and get the learners to rewrite it in a script format and then get them to present the story in class. Another idea is to take the beginning and the end of the story and ask the learners to fill in the middle of the story using all the original characters, but making up their own version of the story. They can do this individually or in groups. The stories could be presented in class and either assessed by the teacher or the other class members. Take a look at an example which can be downloaded from our website.

For complete sets of photocopiable worksheets for Performing Arts (Grades 4-6) and Drama (Grade 7) take a look at what Macrat Publishing has to offer. The worksheets are full of creative ideas which follow the CAPS closely and provide practical step-by-step instructions for the teacher. They can be used to supplement the textbook or on their own as they provide worksheets for the whole year. By special request, the Grades 4–7 worksheets can be bound into workbooks, provided a minimum of 30 copies per grade is ordered. (Note: The Grade 8 and 9 Drama workbooks are sold individually and are not available in a photocopiable version.)

Have fun being creative in the Drama classroom!

The Macrat Team

Categories: Lesson Ideas

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