Review of Storytelling

Educational Objective:

Students will better comprehend the elements of storytelling and how to apply what they have learned about them to their work through multiple activities. The culminating one will be a practice round of “Liar” with a partner, in which partners will evaluate one another.


Materials Needed:

• The following things written on the white board before class starts:
o Elements of Storytelling
 Plot (beginning, middle, end)
 Setting
 Consistency
 Imagination
 Yes, and… principle
 Physicality
• Extra timers
• Partner evaluation forms  Lesson 7.Liar Partner Form



Teach the students how to play “Pop-Up Storybook”. This game is played by having four actors portray pop-up pictures in a storybook. The story is created by another performer after being told the title of the story by the audience. The storyteller must create the character of the storyteller and ask the audience in character for the title. The first page is created by the other performers getting into any posed positions they wish. The storyteller must then use the elements of CROW to make sense of what the picture is, endowing each player with a character in the story. The second page is turned to when the storyteller “turns” the “page” of the book by pantomiming doing that. The players create a new scene, and the storyteller has to give us more elements of CROW (at this point, probably the objectives and the where) using the poses as inspiration. This should be the rising action of the story. The third page is the climax, and the fourth page is the falling action and ending. Play this game twice, reminding the players to keep in mind all of the things listed on the board as they play.


Step 1 (Transition/discussion): Ask the students what they noticed about being the storyteller. Were there any principles from the board that overlapped simply? (Such as “Objective” in CROW and the plot, or “Where” and setting.) How were the performers (including the storyteller) able to show all of these things in their creation of the story? How important was physicality to the storyteller? How important was consistency? How was the Yes, and… principle used throughout the game?


Step 2a (Group Practice): Ask the students to return to their seats. Inform them that they will be playing “Location, Career, Death” as a class, but now the stakes have been raised–all of the guessers must be gone through in three minutes or less. If time runs out, then the people at the end have to simply guess. Have four people begin the game and ask the audience to keep track of the elements of storytelling as they have been written on the board. After the location, career, and death have been identified, ask the audience to describe what they saw by way of storytelling elements.
2b. For the next round, the actors will be able to talk, but remind the students that the point of the game is to make it known mostly through physicality and the yes, and… principle. The guesser still must make him or herself part of the scene without actually ever saying what is going on. If it is too easy to guess, it is not as much fun! Again, at the end of the game, discuss what was seen. How did being able to speak change the game? Was it easier or harder to play?
2c. Play one more round with the students’ preference of whether to speak or not. Discuss briefly what worked and what didn’t once more after the game.


Step 3 (Instruction): Inform the students that they will be tested on their storytelling abilities and their use of the elements written on the board in a performance of “Liar.” Pass out the partner evaluation forms to each student and inform them that they will be partnering up and evaluating each other through playing “Liar”. The story must be a full minute and a half at least, but no more than two and a half minutes long. The partner can use a cell phone with a timer app to help keep time. Provide timers if need be. The partner evaluation forms should be fully filled out and turned in at the end of the period after the teller is able to see it and hear the notes given. These forms, if completed and detailed, will be worth ten points.



The students will pair up with someone else in the room and play “Liar” with that person. The partner is the one who calls liar. At the end of the story, after time is noted, the partner goes over the notes with the teller and gives feedback in the “I wonder…” format (which the students should know already–this is the way they have been taught to give criticism to better a performance). The evaluation form is the measure of the assessment.



• Liar partner evaluation form