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Friday, March 12, 2010

Props that enliven a story

Busy Busy Grand Ant is a story of an Ant who travels across continents and returns to quiz the readers on where she has been. She drops heavy hints regarding the flora/ fauna /geography of the place in verse form and we are to guess which place she is referring to. And offcourse, like all Tulika books, this tale has a twist- how does this grand ant travel to so many different locations?
I used a very appropriate prop while reading this book- I used a globe and pointed out the places as we read through and it was fun actually being able to visualize each continent as we read through.
My principle for any story telling - be it relating a simple story to kids or be it making a corporate presentation is use all 5 senses as much as possible. As far as possible I try it in my work because my presentations are individual stories in their own way and so also do I try to accomodate all senses in a simple story.
1. My favourite prop is illustrating the story as we go using a pencil and paper or a magnetic board or a slate
2. Another one is the voice prop- using different voices for different characters.
3. I use my hands a lot in a conversation and so it is natural that I use them in story reading sessions also- I use hands & mudras to depict objects so that the next time I just use those depictions without telling the word- the kids will tell the word out as I enact it.
4. Using people as props- personifying the story using self/ kids / family members- this one is favourite of my husband and the kids also enjoy it a lot
5. The school teachers use hand puppets/ doll to enliven a story - I use their toys
6. Since their school started addition and subtraction- we have a great time using books or sauce pouches or playing cards to prop our addition/ subtraction exercises.
7. Learning props- Illustrated sight words encourage total involvement by the child- I draw a scene using bold big lines- like- rainy day, caterpillar to butterfly, water cycle, food chain etc and help them to label the objects and colour them, form a story and then display them in their room- the words and images register better that way in their mind
8. Song props- singing out a story in a familiar tune or breaking into a song using any word in the story
9. Language as a prop- wherever possible I use multilingal words or synonyms and maybe break between the story to pick up another book where the same word has been used, to reinforce the idea
10. A prop that I would like to explore would be smell and taste- when time and inclination permits I want to use them during the story as props as to me smell and taste are memories that penetrate and imprint deeper- as Proust suggests- a simple smell can trigger pages and pages of olfactive flashback!


dipali said...

I like the way you can list out systematically all that we may have done instinctively, without that amount of thought! Hats off to you:)

Itchingtowrite said...

thanks dips!