Introduction to Storytelling

Educational Objective:

Students will be able to identify the basics of storytelling as a class after going over storytelling packet as well as learning about its history.


Materials Needed:

• One “Guidelines for Storytellers” packet for each student and one for you
• Computer connected to projector
• Access to YouTube



Show the students an example of storytelling from YouTube.
(Search for “Tony Wilson Gingerbread Man” or use the actual address:
This clip is about 9 minutes and 15 seconds long.



Ask the students what kind of theatre this was. (Storytelling!) How is what this man did different than a monologue? How did this teller capture our interest, even while he was sitting down? Could he have told it standing up? What techniques did he use from other areas of theatre and how were they honed in his storytelling?


Step 1 (Instruction): Inform the students that storytelling has quite possibly been around for as long as humans have been on the earth, as evidenced by stories drawn on walls in caves and other evidences of found ancient civilizations. Ask the students how often they use stories in their everyday lives and inform them that every time we let people know what happens in our lives, we are telling stories. Inform the students that the next unit is a storytelling unit in which they will be responsible for adapting a written story into a telling for elementary-aged students and then, if they pass an initial audition, tell that story to an elementary classroom.


Step 2 (Instruction): Pass out the Guidelines for Storytellers packets, making sure that each student receives one. Go through the Guidelines on page one of the packet. Ask students to read various pieces of the packet (such as one student reading the Learnability area and so forth) if you so desire. Ask for questions as you go through the packet so that questions are answered as they come rather than waiting until the end. It is only necessary to go through the tellability section for this lesson. Remind the students to keep these packets in a safe, accessible place!



Ask the students to review what storytelling is (based on the conversation in step 1), to define “Learnability” in a nutshell, and to define “Tellability” in a nutshell. Write these things on the whiteboard in bulletpoint format for the visual learners.



• Guidelines for Storytellers packet (below)
o All pages to be printed front and back except for plot points page, comment page, and rubric page


Lesson 1.Guidelines for Storytellers Packet