It's so nice to be able to tell stories in individual classrooms. Different age groups get different stories, appropriate to their developmental stages. At Lincoln Elementary, I'm trying to vary the presentations for each group slightly, though everybody gets to hear The ghost with the one black eye and everybody meets at least two puppets.
Here's what I told today:
Fourth graders heard Who's afraid, a scary story by Philippa Pearce with a jump in it; The ghost with the one black eye in English and Bulgarian; The portraits, a strange story I wrote; Gramps' appendix, a story my Uncle Herbert told me; The twist-mouth family, a joke/folktale. We also discussed the treasure trove of stories found in the 398.2 Dewey Decimal classification in public libraries. I explained that I like to tell The ghost in two languages for three reasons--so they know that storytelling is more than just the words, so they understand that they could learn other languages, and because it's fun.
Second graders listened to Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch (they had read lots of his books); The ghost with the one black eye; Chickens, another funny-scary story about the same baby; The cat and the mouse; The Gunniwolf. We also sang the echo song My aunt came back.
Third graders got We share everything by Robert Munsch; The great sharp scissors by Philippa Pearce; The ghost with the one black eye; Now I've gotcha, another story about the same baby; The small-tooth dog, an English version of Beauty and the Beast. More discussion of 398.2.
We had time for questions and answers with the third and fourth graders. I don't do that with younger kids usually, because they tend make statements instead: "I liked that story about the baby!" or "My grandmother has a dog." The older kids have good questions about stories. Today one of the third graders asked what I like best about telling stories to kids. I have many answers, but the one I gave was I really like it when we all go into the world of the story together.
Trixie and the baby puppet came out for third and fourth graders, and the second graders also met the Gunniwolf. The puppet dialogue changes a little bit with each presentation. Today the baby began claiming that they're playing poker in the bag. "Poke, poke, poke Trixie," she says. Trixie and the Gunniwolf say the game is really Go Fish. Who knows?