Students will show their ability to both tell a story and to assess a story by working with one another to critique each other’s stories.
• Basic sock puppet (honestly, it just has to be a plain sock–it doesn’t need eyes or anything) • Extra timers
Collect the plot points from the students, telling a short story using a sock puppet as you do so. This story can be completely made up. Make sure you use a character voice and that your puppet is making movements with its mouth at the same time you speak to make it believable.
Once all of the plot points have been collected, ask the students what techniques you used with your sock puppet to tell a story. Character voice is very important to the believability of a story, as are movements. Those movements can be making faces or posing if you are telling orally. If you are doing puppets, the puppets have to “show” emotions as well. Inform the students that they will be looking for elements like these in one another’s stories.
Ask the students to pull out their storytelling packets and turn to the seventh page, which contains the storytelling comment page. This page is the peer review sheet that they will be using to help one another figure out what he or she must work on. Remind the students to be respectful and to give helpful feedback and ask them to use the “I wonder” formula to best help their classmates. The students will circle the things applicable on the sheet as well as write what made the piece strong and what needs to be worked on the most.
Step 2 (Group Practice):
Ask the students to pair up and share their stories as they are ready thus far. Let them know that for this first time (for both partners) that they are expected to simply watch and listen to the stories. After the stories are told the first time, they are to point out what they liked the best about the story and also give some general notes that can be immediately applied.
The partners will then have a second chance to tell to one another. For this second run, ask the partners to not only fill out the sheet for his or her partner but to time the story as well (to make sure it falls into the 2-5 minute time limitation). The students may use their phones if they have timers on them. For students who do not have this type of function on their phones, provide them with a timer. Inform the students that the critique sheets will be turned in after the auditions so that the students will be able to use them as they rehearse at home, so remind them to keep the sheets in the packets.