English sample unit: The storyteller and the story Stage 4



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English sample unit: The storyteller and the story Stage 4

Scope and sequence summary

Duration: 6 weeks

Students will explore the role of the storyteller and the story in society. Through responding to a variety of stories from around the world in a range of modes and media students will develop an appreciation of story and develop an understanding of the features of engaging stories. They will compose their own imaginative texts and present one of them using a multimodal presentation.

Types of texts: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, spoken texts, print texts, media, multimedia and digital texts (websites, audio).




Outcomes

Key ideas

Learning across the curriculum

EN4-1A responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure

EN4-2A effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies

EN4-3B uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts

EN4-4B makes effective language choices to creatively shape meaning with accuracy, clarity and coherence

EN4-5C thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information, ideas and arguments to respond to and compose texts

EN4-6C identifies and explains connections between and among texts

EN4-7D demonstrates understanding of how texts can express aspects of their broadening world and their relationships within it

EN4-8D identifies, considers and appreciates cultural expression in texts

EN4-9E uses, reflects on and assesses their individual and collaborative skills for learning


The focus of the unit is on:

  • the role of storytelling, the storyteller and the different ways in which stories can be told

  • analysing language features of the short story form

  • examining storytelling from a range of historical, social and cultural perspectives and viewpoints.

Students will use a range of software processes, including word processing programs, online tools, audio and publishing options, to develop and publish a multimodal presentation.
The Learning across the curriculum
areas integrated in this unit include: Information and communication technology, Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia.




Content

Teaching, learning and assessment

Resources

EN4-1A

  • explore and appreciate the aesthetic qualities in their own and other texts and the power of language to communicate information, ideas, feelings and viewpoints

EN4-2A

  • use a range of effective strategies
    for organising information, ideas
    and arguments, eg clustering, listing, compare and contrast, semantic
    chains, graphic and diagram outlines, and mind maps

EN4-3B
  • engage with the language and structures of texts in meaningful, contextualised and authentic ways


  • recognise and use appropriate metalanguage in discussing a range of language forms, features and structures

EN4-4B

  • explore and analyse the ways purpose, audience and context affect a composer's choices of content, language forms and features and structures of texts to creatively shape meaning

Storytelling: What makes a good story?

Brainstorm students’ impressions about what makes a good story.

Discuss the responses and cluster and prioritise into a list.

Organise students in pairs and ask them to recall a story they have either heard or read and to retell it to their partner – each student in turn explains to their partner why they remembered and enjoyed the story.

Students reflect individually.

Note: It may be useful to create a format for students to complete individual reflection, such as a class blog, individual student blogs or journal.

Students listen to a story and as a class discuss and synthesise the responses
to the story using the following headings: purpose, plot, structure (such as engaging openings), language features (including descriptive language/imagery), characterisation, narrative point of view. This is an opportunity to review students’ prior knowledge and build further skills by providing guided practice to identify
and describe the typical features of a good story.

Students create a mind map/graphic chart to represent the characteristics


of a good story.

What makes a good storyteller?

The introduction to the series, The Storyteller, may be used to stimulate interest.


It can also be used later as an opportunity to further students’ understanding

about language (see Worksheet 1).

Explain why the storyteller is important.

Students may consider the role and voice of the storyteller and examine the rhythm, tone, emphasis, pause and other features of a performance.

What is oral storytelling?

When did oral storytelling take place?

Where was oral storytelling popular?

Why did it happen?

How did oral storytelling take place?

What is the place of oral storytelling in the modern world? (consider children’s book reading/Australian tall story competitions).

Students then listen to a story (audio, podcast) with the focus on what makes

a good storyteller.

Students draw some conclusions from these activities about the qualities of a


good storyteller. This may be done as a class discussion, think/pair/share, or journal writing.

Software for mind maps such as Inspiration, bubbl.us and Hierarchy concept map for prioritising ideas can
be used

A number of short stories are available in audio books, apps, websites and podcasts (closed captioning or print versions may need to be used for hearing-impaired students)

Introduction to the series, The Storyteller, available as a web-based resource

Worksheet 1




EN4-1A

  • explore and appreciate the aesthetic qualities in their own and other texts and the power of language to communicate information, ideas, feelings and viewpoints

EN4-3B

  • engage with the language and structures of texts in meaningful, contextualised and authentic ways

  • recognise and use appropriate metalanguage in discussing a range of language forms, features and structures

EN4-4B

  • explore and analyse the ways purpose, audience and context affect a composer's choices of content, language forms and features and structures of texts to creatively shape meaning

EN4-5C

  • critically consider the ways in which meaning is shaped by context, purpose, form, structure, style, content, language choices and their own personal perspective

EN4-6C

  • explain the similarities and differences in meaning and language between texts created for different purposes or audiences


EN4-7D

  • draw on experience to consider the ways the ‘real world ‘ is represented in the imaginary worlds of texts, including imaginative literature, film, media and multimedia texts

EN4-8D

Early traditions of storytelling

Students individually or in pairs research the role and the importance of oral storytelling. They consider the role of oral storytelling in the past and its continuing place in the world.

Students record and report their findings (learning log, class mind map).

Read/play and then, as a class, discuss an extract from an epic poem such as


The Illiad, and/or a bush ballad such as The Man from Snowy River and/or an extract from a medieval poem such as Beowulf.

Have students reflect on the following questions:



  • What is the story about?

  • How does the writer/storyteller engage the reader/listener?

  • Why have these stories endured through time?

This could be done as a jigsaw activity. Students form groups and each group addresses one question in relation to a variety of texts or each group is given one type of text and addresses all questions.

Assessment for learning

Students make a summary of one story they most enjoyed and explain how the elements of engaging storytelling are apparent in the story. Students compose a short piece of writing to present their ideas.



The Illiad

Beowulf

Bush ballads. Most are available on CDs, DVDs, podcasts, apps


EN4-3B

  • recognise and use appropriate metalanguage in discussing a range of language forms, features and structures

  • explore texts that include both Standard Australian English and elements of other languages, including Aboriginal English

EN4-4B

  • recognise and appreciate the ways a wide range of texts communicate by using effective language choices

EN4-6C

  • explain the similarities and differences
    in meaning and language between
    texts created for different purposes or audiences

EN4-8D


  • investigate texts about cultural experiences from different sources,
    eg texts from Asia and texts by Asian Australians, and explore different viewpoints

  • recognise and explain differing viewpoints about the world, cultures, individual people and concerns represented in texts

  • explore the interconnectedness of Country and Place, People, Identity
    and Culture in texts including those by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors

  • explore and appreciate the ways
    different cultural stories, icons,
    Aboriginal images and significant Australians are depicted in texts



Storytelling from other cultures

Teachers may choose to focus on stories from one or more of the following cultural perspectives:



  • stories from/about the peoples and countries of Asia

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dreaming stories

  • Australian tall tales.

Teachers design close reading activities to identify and explore themes,

settings and storytelling techniques.

Note: Activities such as three level guides can provide relevant means for differentiation.

Students explore and describe the distinctive cultural perspectives in the stories.


Stories from/about the peoples and countries of Asia

Select a story from or about the peoples and countries of Asia and discuss the features of the short story, storytelling techniques and language features.

What cultural perspectives are communicated in the story, eg traditions, celebrations, family structure? A second story might be explored to enable comparison of cultural perspectives.

Assessment for learning

In small groups, pairs or individually, students conduct their own wide reading


or provide stories from their own experience or the experience of their family.
Each student/group reads/tells/presents (podcast or multimedia) a short story
and selects music and/or images to accompany the presentation.

AND/OR


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dreaming stories

The introduction to the SBS program, The First Australians, could be used as


an introductory activity (see Worksheet 2).

Invite an Indigenous elder to share a story if possible. This could become part


of a listening activity.

Locate a selection of Dreaming stories, ideally with a common thread, and


discuss their place in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life.

Teachers design close reading activities to identify and explore language and common themes and ideas in Dreaming stories. A common focus may be the role of nature in these stories or the relationship between environment and the community.

Discuss why these Dreaming stories are appealing? Students record ideas
and research.

Assessment for learning

In small groups, pairs or individually, students conduct their own wide reading

or provide stories from their own experience or the experience of their family.

Each student/group reads/tells/presents (podcast or multimedia) a short story
and selects music and/or images to accompany the presentation.

AND/OR


The Australian tall tale

Discuss with the class what they understand by the saying a ‘tall tale’ and


consider why these stories are so appealing.

View the video, A Tale of a Slit Dog.

Identify and analyse the content, plot, use of visuals, vocabulary, tone and language features.

Discuss why these tall tales are so appealing.

What aspects of Australian culture are represented in tall tales?

Students develop a storyboard for their own Australian visual narrative (tall tale), eg the origin of an Australian invention or food. Present using a typical Australian context and using the same format.

If students have read stories from different cultures, they summarise the differences and similarities of stories. This can be done as a comparison chart
or double bubble map.

Assessment for learning

Students compare a persuasive text addressing the topic: ‘You learn a lot about


a culture from the stories’. The persuasive text could take the form of a feature article, speech, interview or exposition.

Stories from/about the peoples and countries of Asia

  • www.chinavista.com/experience/story/story.html

  • www.starsandseas.com/SAS_Mythology/Dragonmythd.htm

  • The Seven Chinese Brothers (Margaret Mahy and Jean Tseng & Mou-Sien Tseng (illustrator)

  • Indonesia Kaleidoscope (Helen Agostino and Kathy Kiting)

  • Impressions (Anthony Bott, Lee Grafton, Carolyn Millard and Doug Trevaskis)

  • The Brocaded Slipper and Other Vietnamese Tales (Lynette Dyer Vuong and Vo-Dinh Mai)


The First Australians, SBS, available

as a web resource

Aboriginal Dreaming stories


  • Dust Echoes, a series of Dreaming stories developed for ABC

  • The Dreaming developed by australia.gov.au

  • Aboriginal Dreaming Stories developed by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation


Australian tall story

A Tale of a Slit dog is a resource
available on the web


EN4-5C

  • use imaginative texts as models
    to replicate or subvert textual conventions to create new texts

EN4-8B

  • explore the ways recurring stories
    such as legends and fairy stories
    have been written and rewritten for different contexts and media

Appropriating a story

Look at fairy tales and the role of Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen


and Roald Dahl.

Discuss how storytellers appropriate a story for a particular purpose and


audience. Depending on students’ prior learning they may have varied experiences of this process. As an example read or retell a fairy tale such as
‘The Three Little Pigs’ and listen to and discuss the appropriation/adaptation
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs or ‘The Three Little Pigs’ in Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

‘Some Grimm secrets of fairy tales’, lecture with quiz on ABC Radio www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2011/12/07/3385824.htm

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Jon Sciezska (author), Lane Smith (illustrator). Audio version available on internet

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, ‘The Three Little Pigs’, available on the web


EN4-4B

  • create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues,
    report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate

  • plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas

  • creatively adapt and transform their own or familiar texts into different forms, structures, modes and media for a range of different purposes and audiences

  • respond to and compose new print
    and multimodal texts, experimenting
    with appropriations and intertextuality

EN4-5C

  • understand and use conventions
    of storytelling in a range of modes
    and media, eg digital storytelling

Assessment of learning

Create a multimodal presentation

Students either individually or in pairs create a multimodal presentation of their own story or appropriate a traditional story using the SCAMPER model to change and adapt it to appeal to a modern audience (the suggestions after each word are just one way of interpreting the words):



Substitute – a girl not boy or boy not girl

Combine – add an element of another story to one you have chosen

Adapt – change the language of the story to fit in with teen talk or change it from first to third person or vice versa
Modify – alter the setting

Put/place something unexpected into the story that is very odd

Eliminate – get rid of something or someone in the story

Reverse – change the order of the story and bring the beginning to the end

and the end to the beginning.

Students can use a program such as Storybird to plan and publish their


multimodal presentation.

Students make a 3–5 minute presentation to the class.



Storytelling into writing: 26 pages
on writing skills from Years 1–7
with specific language focus –
see pp 25–26, www.school-portal.co.uk/GroupDownloadFile.asp?GroupId=712152&ResourceId=2204564

Storybird


http://storybird.com/

EN4-9E

  • articulate and reflect on the pleasure
    and difficulties, successes and challenges experienced in their
    individual and collaborative learning

  • understand the demands of a task
    and the outcomes and criteria for planned assessment

  • develop and use vocabulary for describing, analysing and reflecting
    on their learning experiences

  • discuss and explain the processes
    of responding and composing,
    identifying the personal pleasures
    and difficulties experienced

Reflection

Students reflect on the demands of the unit of work and the assessment activity.

They can record their findings about their own processes of learning by constructing a PMI chart (plus, minus and interesting) to evaluate the topic
and the learning by addressing the following questions:


  • What did you get the most out of (P)?

  • What did you like the best (P)?

  • What did you think needed to be developed further (M)?
  • What was the most interesting thing you did or learnt (I)?


  • How has this unit developed your understanding of the subject?

  • What have you learnt about yourself as a learner?







Assessment overview

Evaluation

Students will compose the following:

  • critical response

  • imaginative texts

  • multimodal presentation





Worksheet 1 • The role of the storyteller


Resource: Introduction to the series, The Storyteller

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs81RjW4kvs

Transcript

When people told themselves their past with stories, explained their present with stories, foretold the future with stories, the best place by the fireplace was kept for: The Storyteller.






  • What is the relationship between the past, present and future that is made in this introduction?

  • Why is the storyteller so important?

  • The narrator begins with When. What does this suggest about Now?

  • Could he be talking about Australia?

  • List all the objects/settings in the scenes that are shown. In what kind of stories are these objects/settings found?

  • Are stories still important?

  • In what ways do you think storytelling has changed?

Language

Learning about sentences

The transcript is one complex sentence. It can be divided into the following parts:

1. When people told themselves their past with stories,

2. explained their present with stories,

3. foretold the future with stories,

4. the best place by the fireplace was kept for: The Storyteller.

A complex sentence has a main clause on to which are added other subordinate clauses. Subordinate means they can’t exist if they aren’t attached to something.


  • Which of the above is the MAIN sentence?

  • Which is the subordinate clause?

The above clauses 1–4 can be made into complete sentences

1. People told themselves their past with stories.

2. People explained their present with stories.

3. People foretold the future with stories.

4. The best place by the fireplace was kept for: The Storyteller.

Are the dependent clauses: explained their present with stories, foretold the future with stories, attached to number 1 or number 4? Why is this? Look at the complete sentences for a clue.

Let’s restructure this sentence with the main clause first. You may need to change when and a few other words. Does it work?

1. The best place by the fireplace was kept for: The Storyteller …


Applying the learning


Now try to construct your own complex sentence with the following five sentences. Decide which will be the main clause and then attach the others. They can come in whatever order you want but you will need to change words around.
Storytellers were the main source of information.

Storytellers would travel through the country.

Storytellers were entertainers.

Storytellers were welcome wherever they went.

People loved storytellers.

Storytelling is my story

www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6L6POtN_0M





  • What is the storyteller doing?

  • Do you agree with this interpretation of who is the storyteller?

  • What does this actually mean: Storytelling is my story?


Free writing

Do you think storytellers are important?




Worksheet 2 • Aboriginal storytelling and the Dreamtime


Resource: Introduction to the SBS program: The First Australians www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5SCo2xDO6s&NR=1&feature=endscreen

Length: 1.17minutes.




The Australian continent was a flat, featureless place, devoid of life. Then giant beings came down from the sky, came from across the sea and emerged from within the earth. With their arrival, the Dreaming began, a life was born.

In the north of Australian the Jumkawall sisters gave birth to humanity. In central Australia, Itukawarra broke the marriage laws and, as punishment, was turned into stone, forever entombed on the landscape.

On the east coast, B shaped the landscape and when his work was complete, he stepped on to the mountain and back into the sky.

As they moved across the land, their great bodies shaped the earth, creating rivers and mountain ranges. In everything they touched, they left their essence, making the landscape sacred to those who honour the Dreaming: the First Australians.

Suggestions for using the transcript depending on your class

  • Remove words and use this as a cloze activity after the first viewing or even as a cloze activity before the first viewing.


  • Listen and complete answers for a listening activity.

  • View film techniques. Consider how text is reinforced by images, sound, voice, colour, editing and camera shots.

  • Complete the information retrieval table below.

  • Annotate a map of Australia with the information given.

  • Compare this creation myth to the Bible story of creation.


Exercise: complete this table.

Where did this happen?

Who was responsible?

What did they create?




Jumkawall sisters







Itukawarra







B







All of them





Extension activity

Research: Creation myths from around the world. Draw up a comparison chart to show the similarities and differences of the creation myths. Use What, Who, Where, When, Why, How as table headings.





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