Sunday is Visiting Day! We take a break from writing A to Z, and catch up on visiting other blogs. If you are looking for A to Z posts, scroll on down!
In the meantime, I am going to write about an awesome storytelling gig I had earlier this week.
After a long semester of snow days and schoolwork, I finally had the time and the opportunity to return to the local school that I adopted for storytelling practice purposes. They invited me in for Right to Read Week. I was scheduled to visit 7 classrooms on Thursday, and 2 on Friday - it was going to be a whirlwind of stories!
I unleashed a full semester's worth of pent-up storytelling energy. The kids didn't know what hit 'em. I broke in three new stories:
Akamba folktale, about a princess who is mean to a magic bird and in return she goes bald; a hero has to go out and find a magic hair tree for her)
The Red Lion (a Persian folktale, about a prince who is terrified of lions, but no matter ow far he runs, he keeps encountering them, until he learns to face his fear)
The Sisimiqui (a Costa Rican folktale that features a rabbit riding an armadillo into battle) (yeah you read that right) (5th grade actually tagged this one "Assassin's Creed: Bunnyrabbit")
All three worked great. I did the princess one multiple times, and it was not only tremendous fun to tell, but it also managed to hold the kindergartners' rapt attention for almost twenty minutes!
I told a bunch of other things as well, such as Greek myths in 4th grade (Dionysus and the Pirates, and the fable of Momus - because they asked for my favorite), Journey to the West and some Nart sagas in 6th grade (I was really not planning on the former, but they were still talking about our trickster stories from last year, and before I knew it, I was asking them "have you ever heard about the Monkey King?..."), the adventures of St. Vincent de Paul (it's a Catholic school), and the meeting of Oisín and St. Patrick (to explain how tales get written down).
One of the things I loved the most was the questions kids asked. After every story they got to ask me anything they wanted to know, and most of them had great questions (if you ask me, the education system needs to encourage all students to ask as much as they can...). The first and second graders, for example, after hearing the tale of Oisín and Niamh and St. Patrick, had a slew of fun questions, such as "Who was Oisín's mother?" and "What was the name of his friends?" and "How could the horse run on water?" and "Where did the fairies go?" and "Are the Fianna the same as knights?" and even "Why did Oisín not die when he aged 300 years?" I was happy that I have a solid background knowledge in Fianna legends - answering their questions promptly and with real information delighted both them and me.
I was completely spent by the end of the day, but it was totally worth it.