The Complete Storymaker: Improving student storytelling and writing through work with creative drama
by Patricia Hruby Powell
Where: Workshop done with P. H. Powell's guidance for students and teachers throughout Illinois, often funded by the Illinois Arts Council. Various sponsors include Illinois Reading Council, Illinois Geographic Alliance, many school districts and schools. Also conducted in Nevada and Indiana.
Keywords: elementary education, language arts, creative drama, social studies, cultural awareness
Powell leads a workshop that:
• engages teachers in dramatic activities that will progress from their thoughts, through actions, to writing
• guides teachers to model, then identify verbs to demonstrate how vocabulary can be expanded.
• shows teachers how to interpret dramatic gesture in words, to teach the cardinal rule of writing: show rather than tell.
• models drama coaching, which includes making gestures larger (exaggerate) and making smaller.
• guides the collective telling of a well-known story; analyze it; use participants' analysis as a template for guiding groups to tell collective original stories.
• shares exercises, materials and resources that teachers can use in the classroom to improve their students' writing and love of words.
• reviews the contents of the workshop and brainstorms benefits and adaptations for other curricular uses.
• know processes to draw from students; their creative ideas, build on others' ideas, brainstorm solutions to problems, using cooperation and ingenuity.
• be able to lead fun activities that will help expand their students' vocabulary and improve their writing.
• be able to guide exercises in movement and drama to develop their students' stories with quest plots, using great verbs and pithy details.
• appreciate that the power of telling folktales and developing characters can ignite in their students a sense of empathy for all kinds of people from all kinds of places.
Patricia Hruby Powell
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