{June 17, 2011}   Stories in a Bag!

Some weeks ago I attended a seminar at the Teacher’s Training College I attend, and I must say it was TERRIFIC Fabiana Parano showed teachers how to TELL stories in the classroom without resorting to a book, and using gestures and body language to help students understand the story.

Thinking on the effects stories have on children and adults, if you have the chance to attend any of her courses I highly recommend them!

More info


{March 22, 2011}   Storytelling

A friend of mine asked if I knew of any good courses on storytelling. My answer was the one you are thinking of:

“Why do you want to do a course of something that you know naturally? Why don’t you do a web search to clarify your doubts, and enlarge your knowledge?”

And as she was working, I did a google search for her and send her some links via e-mail. The first link I came across is a “manual” for beginners in storytelling. The information you will see there perhaps is not new, but it is clearly organized and it gives a general idea of what storytelling is. The second link, a set of resources for storytelling, was chosen simply because I found it really interesting!

As I always say, what works for one person perhaps doesn’t work for another. The truth is, all of us know naturally how to tell a story. We all have little brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, nephews, nieces and neighbours to tell stories to; and as teachers, we have our own students. Also, children are the best judges who are going to tell you what works and what needs to be changed. We all have our own techniques for storytelling, but we all change our voices to represent different characters and we all “make faces” for children to become really interested in the story. I, for instance, use puppets whenever I don’t want to use a book. And children laugh of my faces, and voices, and movements. A friend of mine likes acting out the stories she tells, so if you peek into her classroom, you will see a clown and not a teacher! 🙂

To end this post, I leave a question to all of you: Which do you think is the most useful technique for storytelling?

{March 15, 2010}   Stories, stories

Every single student likes stories. We, teachers, love telling stories since we can feel like actors on stage. But we also like stories to analyze and work with the language in a different way.

Here is a list of sites where you can find lots of short stories to work with your students.

And my well known bonus is for….

{December 21, 2009}   The True Meaning of Christmas

Searching ESLprintables forum, I came across this link shared by another user. Here in Argentina we are already on holidays, but I found the link really useful to teach children in my family about Christmas.

Hope you like it too!

{June 27, 2009}   Story Telling

We all enjoyed when our teachers told us stories, and our students love stories. The British Council has selected and adapted well know stories to the needs of children learning English.

Check it by yourselves! Go into this link and get into the world of fairy tales and traditional stories.

{April 25, 2009}   Sand and Stone

While checking my mailbox, I came across this wonderful story to share with our students.

Sand and Stone

This story tells of two friends walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.

The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone. Why?”

The other friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. When someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, where no wind can ever erase it.”

Learn to write your hurts in sand, and to carve your benefits in stone.

Today, as I was doing some paper work, I couldn’t stop thinking about a story I read long ago. The way up to heaven was written by Roal Dahl and was first published in the February 1954 issue of The New Yorker.
I did a quick search in youtube, and I came across this terrific version of the story acted out by a group of German students of English.

In case you are interested in working with this story, you can check here a very nice set of reading comprehension exercises.

Plot Summary

{March 25, 2009}   Working with stories

As I was checking files on my pc, I came across a guide I compiled last year to work with The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Most of the activities were found on the Internet, in different educational sites).

I found it really useful to hand it in to my students to complete some activities at home after we read the story and worked with it in class orally. Some of the activities were also carried out in class, and the students had lots of fun with them!

If you want to check the work we did in class, please go to 1stChildren2008

You can download the guide here. Hope you find it useful!


{February 9, 2009}   Summer Reading

Due to my college’s requirements, I’m reading some short stories for in-class discussion. Today, I went through Angelica Gibbs’ The Test.

The story goes around racial and gender discrimination. It was written in the 1940s and bluntly shows how African-American people were treated at this time. I can’t imagine the effects this story had among the middle classes at the time it was published!

From the very beginning, images come easily to your mind, so I won’t say anything else about it: Just click here and enjoy reading it!

And if you are interested, here you can find some questions to work with the story.

{November 4, 2008}   The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I simply love this story! Today, I worked with my little kids group with this story. I had the opportunity of preparing a set of activities related to the story (picking some up from here and there, of course, not all are mine!) and the children were delighted with the story.

Why did I choose it? Just because I wanted to introduce the last two units of the year in a different way.

et cetera