since I read books to kids multiple times almost every week. Realizing through this constant application a couple of things:
1. Getting your audience to physically connect with the story is a great thing, especially for young kids. I try to attach motions they can imitate to the text whenever I can.
2. #1 is extra-tricky when you have to hold the book. Yet holding the book is the best way to ensure all audience members can see the pictures. A stationary easel is not a solution.
3. Finger plays, songs, and other activities that don’t require books = better attention from your audience. Which leads me to:
4. I want to tell more stories with props, puppets, and my own body. There are tons of older books about story times that have these sorts of ideas in them, but they’re harder and harder to get and out of print more often than not.
Time to do some more research. And better preparation – telling stories without a book = more work for my memory.
...nothing complex, just going to rehearse the actual reading of all of this week’s story hour books. I haven’t been doing this before now, as I’m a confident reader already – but this will give me a chance to punch things up a little, to determine dramatic pauses, practice voices and sound effects, etc.
I want to be able to use a puppet reasonably well. I’m not going to learn ventriloquism or anything (though I’ve considered it), but I’d at least like to be able to coordinate mouth and body movements, and to do some characterization.
I’m gonna start by borrowing a few puppets from work and working my way through this seemingly awesome set of free puppetry tutorials! Man, I love eHow.
Etc. Listening to/studying good storytellers also falls under this goal.
Here are the types of things I’m already doing:
- Listening to storytelling podcasts like RISK!, The Moth, etc. Some comedy podcasts also do this well.
- Collecting some stories I want to learn and adapt for performance for my story hours next summer. The SRP theme is World Culture/World Travel, and I’m super-excited!
- Just generally learning to read an audience and recapture their attention. 2 year olds are fantastic practice for this. :)
Here are some of the things I want to work on:
- Rehearsing more of my readalouds at home, to practice using my voice correctly, both dramatically and physically. I have a tendency towards laryngitis in the winter, and I think it’s because I strain my voice.
- Funnily enough, there’s an awesome-sounding storytelling series taking place this winter right in my neighborhood!
- FIND A STORYTELLING CLASS or slam or something. I’ve seen ONE class via the University (but would like to avoid it if possible b/c tuition is ridiculous).