Saturday, February 28, 2009

Settings for storytelling

Often, when I tell stories at schools in the US, I'm in a gymnasium, with kids on the floor in front of me. I always need my sound system in the gym. I prefer to be in the library or a classroom.

In Belgium, I was in the primary and secondary libraries of the European School of Brussels. Here are a couple of views of the primary library:
The kindergartners built Arabella, the apatasaurus. The fourth or fifth graders decorated the Hans Christian Andersen chair. The library used to have big cushions on the floor for the kids to lounge on. Last time I was there, in my very last set, a kindergartner out of my sight methodically emptied a cushion or two of its stuffing while listening. When they left, there was a huge pile of pillow innards on the floor!

At the little English immersion school in Familleureux, we were cozy in the tiny art room. You can see the sink and soap dispenser behind me. On the teacher's desk was a fishbowl, very handy for the story of "The Great Sharp Scissors," in which a fishbowl figures prominently.

There are settings that don't work (see my post on telling to kids in bleachers,) but these spaces worked well for the audiences.

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