In this lesson, students celebrate their learning by watching the completed storytelling videos. As the videos are normally several weeks in the making, kids are extremely proud of their productions! Give them the chance to reflect on and celebrate their achievements by hosting a red-carpet video premiere! Add popcorn treats for an especially festive touch.
To celebrate the children’s success in writing, rehearsing, performing, and recording an original “Bear Hunt” story. (AASL 4.1.8, “Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.”)
Students will watch and respond to one another’s storytelling “Bear Hunt” videos.
Remind the students that they have written and recorded their videos and that today is the day to watch and celebrate their success.
Explain that today the children are each expected to do two things:
- Be a respectful audience member.
- Listen and watch critically. Look for specific things that their classmates did well, or specific things that their classmates can improve on. You may wish to use the “Two Stars and a Wish” framework if you and the children are familiar with it.
Show each of the class’ storytelling “Bear Hunt” videos. Each video will be a minute or two long. After each video, give a round of applause. Then, have the children point out two specific things that were well done in each recording and one suggestion for improvement. Try to steer comments away generalized remarks such as “It was good” or “I liked it,” to more specific content. Suggestions could include their peers’:
- Use of expression
- Hand, foot movements
- Ability to remember lines
- Speaking, acting in unison
- Ability to keep going if a mistake was made
- Ability to memorize lines
- Use of rhythm or beat
Thank the students for their work and participation. Encourage them to share their videos with their families. Ask them to think about other stories they might like to tell in a video format. Finally, request that they help tidy up the room before they go.
- Children’s recorded videos in files and ready for playback.
- Video playback equipment with projection and audio capability.
- Seating area for the class and any invited guests.
- Room that you can darken during the video performances.
- Popcorn or treats (optional)
- Movie poster decorations (if the kids have had time to make them, optional).
If you have the opportunity, post the videos to the class Weebly, web site, or the students’ digital portfolios. Send the file to your audiovisual team and ask them to put it on any large screens around the school. Show off these videos, because they are an extraordinary culmination of the children’s study of story structure, story writing, and story performance.
I’ve done this project with great success and it really does cap off the unit on storytelling. Teachers tend to approach storytelling through writing or using apps to write. But, performance storytelling is an easy-to-do approach to the same material that pulls in EAL children, adds an element of fun, and results in an unforgettable learning experience.
I usually do not do a “Celebration of Learning” at the end of the unit since those most often happen in the classroom. However, I make an exception when the kids have completed a significant piece of work like the storytelling videos. Don’t be tempted to pass-up this video premiere lesson! If you and the children have gone to the effort to make these videos, it’s worth the time to celebrate them together.
Recommended books for this lesson:
Poetry, Bear Hunt, Writing, Stories, Performance, Story Structure, Storytelling