Friday, 1 February 2013

Wish me luck...

Is there anyone who does not enjoy a story.  We all like to be spun a yarn in one form or another: reading, listening to the radio, watching a film or television.  If we are really lucky the story is given to us live, told by a story teller and woven around us second by second.

Yesterday I was lucky to be part of a workshop with the gifted story teller: Nicky Rafferty.  As part of our drive to show the children that reading is a life long pleasure, a gift, we have started a project to find ways to reach those who do not yet know this.  Part of this project is predicated on the notion that not all stories have to be read through a book, they come through the ear.  That to be able to read for enjoyment a child needs the cadence, rhythm, music and art of a good story demonstrated.  We do this through our story time reading all the time; less often do we do it through the art of oral story telling.

So, that is what I will be doing for part of the afternoon, trying out my skills as an oral storyteller.

Having watched Nicky, I have come to the conclusion that you need two core skills to be a story teller, you need to be a wordsmith who can pluck the right phrase out and place it next to another one well.  And- you need to be a performer, with a body and voice that adds in the shades to the story.  I am not bad at the words on a page bit - but I am not one of life's natural performers, neither do I have a particularly mellifluous voice.

That aside nothing ventured, nothing gained.  We have been challenged to tell a story in class and I will do just that.  I am down to either using the one that Nicky taught us yesterday (always helps to be sure of your material); or I will use another classic fairy tale with an original ending ( they are year 6 and need the more gruesome endings).

So wish me luck. I will be recording this for posterity, although I am not sure I will be able to bear listening to it afterwards.

Oh, and if you want to hear some who do it properly find an event with these guys:
We are still raising for Gretel, please help if you can.
Gretel Parker 


  1. oh how wonderful... how did it go ? What an excellent idea. I saw some players story telling in the summer in the grounds of a castle. It was called Grimm fairy tales - not Grimm's !
    I hope the yr 6's were good for you !

    Thank you for your lovely comment.

    1. Thanks Penny, I got quite an accolade:
      "Awww Miss, that was 'sick'!" High praise indeed. I used the story Nicky taught us and (if school allows) will post a snippet on the blog. We recorded the whole thing.