2. How We Express Ourselves
Storytelling is used all over the world to share events and ideas.
- CAUSATION: why stories changed over time.
- CONNECTION: how older civilizations used stories to explain the world around them.
- PERSPECTIVE: myths can be different depending on the culture.
- THINKING: analysing features and creating own stories.
- COMMUNICATION: sharing own stories with others.
- SOCIAL: discussing and comparing stories with others.
Before you start this chapter, it would be handy to stock your room with books that contain fables and myths.
Questions 1 & 2 (p. 19): Storytelling
Read the introduction with the children, stopping to let them share some examples of stories in their everyday lives. Ask if anyone has video-called family in other parts of the world to talk to them – this is a modern way of sharing a story!
You can lead the discussion with some questions about the text.
Question 3 (p. 21): Fables
Before the lesson, choose several fables to photocopy on to large paper. You can find many of these online, such as Aesop’s fables. (‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ appear in the chapter.)
At the start of the lesson, share some fables with the class. Look at the ‘Features of a Fable’ table on page 21. You could elaborate on these features, depending on the children you are working with. It is worth spending some time unpicking what a moral is at this point.
Next, give each group of children one of the photocopied fables. Each group will then use the features table to identify the features found in that fable. They can underline or highlight the features as they find them. Once finished they can choose a different fable to complete the task again. Afterwards, they can compare their findings with another group.
Question 4 (p. 22): Finding examples
Allow children time to research some more fables. There are lots of written and video examples on the internet. You could guide them to the Aesop’s fables or find another site that has many fables listed.
Question 5 (p. 22): Writing a blurb and drawing a cover
Fold a piece of paper to help children understand that a book blurb needs to go on the right and the cover goes on the left.
It might be worth recapping what a blurb is and its key features:
- Exciting and attention grabbing
- Makes the reader ask questions
- Does not give away the ending.
Depending on how much time you want to spend on this task, you could look at some real examples from the back of books that the children are familiar with.
Similarly, you could look at the covers of published books to decide what you like and dislike as a class. You could recap the main features of a cover:
- Book title
- Author name
- Illustrator name (sometimes)
- Exciting and attention grabbing.
Questions 6 & 7 (p. 23): Create a comic
Before children create their own comic strip of a fable, it might be worth creating your own class version as an example for those who have limited experience creating comic strips.
Discuss again what a moral is. Is it helpful to identify the moral first so children can identify how to show it in their comic?
There are some great programs online that can be used to create comic strips, so you can spend as little or as long on this as you would like. If children are not confident artists, you could encourage them to use stick figures and instead focus on how they position the characters and text for most impact when telling the story.
Questions 8, 9 & 10 (p. 25): Myths
Before the lesson, find some examples of myths.
You might find some videos, such as Myths from Around the World by TED-Ed.
Explain to children what a myth is – they will probably be able to give you some examples of myths or at least the characters from myths (Hercules, the Monkey King, Thor, Māui, etc).
You could also play this BBC Bitesize video, which explains what a myth is.
Discuss how myths are different from fables and why myths were told. Remind children that we didn’t have the scientific knowledge about the natural world that we do today.
Show or read some myths to the children and discuss the features of a myth from the book.
Question 11 (p. 26): Children's own storytelling
Remind children of the fables they read at the start of the chapter and the myths they have just read. Can children remember why we told stories (and still do!).
Allow children time to create their own story. It could be a myth or a fable or something else. They can recreate one they already know or think up their own one – allow them to be creative in the content and how they present it.
Reflection (p. 27)
Allow children time to complete the reflection at the end of the chapter. This is a great opportunity to discuss with the children what they have learnt now and what their favourite part of the chapter was. Remind them to look back at the questions they asked at the start. Can they answer them now?
Give children lesson time to answer any questions they haven’t covered in the chapter. If all of their questions have been answered, children could delve deeper into a particular part of the chapter they found interesting