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Coaching Beginner Storytellers

*Always begin comments with a compliment:   What did the storyteller do well?

*Remember: Enthusiastic, respectful listeners help storytellers improve!

Basic Criteria:
In order to evaluate the oral skills of the teller one must be able to hear the teller.

  • Did the teller speak loudly enough?
  • Did the teller seem to want to really tell the listeners the story?
  • Did the body language of the teller distract from or help the storytelling?
  • Did the teller tell the whole story?

Listening Partner Feedback:

*Only the listener can answer these questions.
Storyteller Can Ask Listener:

  • Did the story keep your attention?
  • Could you picture what I said?
  • Did the characters seem real?

*Only the teller can answer these questions.
Storyteller Can Ask Themselves:

  • Did I picture the story as I was telling it, without letting my mind wander?
  • Did I picture the characters in my imagination and pretend to "be" all of them?
  • Did my words flow easily or was it difficult to find the words to express my thoughts?

Important Rehearsal Tip:

Have students practice telling the story to one person at a time. Keep changing partners. as confidence builds have them tell to small groups. When well-rehearsed, students can tell to the class.

To give practice a focus arrange a: Storytelling Festival Day

The primary goal of a student festival is to help students feel confident speaking publicly and to encourage considerate group listening skills to support each teller.

Have each student prepare to present a short oral story (5-7 minutes) first to one other student and then to larger groups, until the telling is done for the entire class.

Students can find stories to tell either in the Stories In A Nutshell or Aesop's ABC section of this website or, send students to the Public Library to take out a folktale book from the 398.2 section.

*A Storytelling Skills Rubric
*Listening Skills Rubric
*Self- Assessment: The Inner Workings of the Storyteller's Art

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