Students will present tales and myths
in the oral tradition.
Have a selection of books containing Greek, Roman, and African myths, legends, and folktales. The teacher might want to refer to and use some of the techniques for oral presentations and storytelling suggested in Viola Spolin’s book,
Improvisation for the Theater
Review the history of the oral tradition as it developed in the ancient cultures of Greece, Rome, and Africa. The teacher could present a dramatized version of a myth or folktale, Discuss how effective oral presentations are when the presenter uses movement, facial expressions and voice in dramatizing the story.
Norms must be established so that the presenter knows what is expected of him or her and the audience knows what is of it. The audience should know that it is expected to listen carefully and respectfully to each presenter, and each student is to write a summary of each presenter’s tale in his or her notebook.
The presenter should be prepared to tell a myth or tale to the audience. The presenter can retell any of the myths or tales studied in class or find a different story. The presenter should speak in a direct, loud voice so that the audience can hear the story. The presenter should use movement and facial and voice expressions where appropriate to dramatize the story. The presenter will have two to five minutes to recite his or her story.
When students are presenting material to each other for the first time, I have found it to be a less anxious experience for the presenter if the desks or chairs are arranged in a circle and the presenter does not have to stand unless he or she chooses to.
Follow-up Suggestions for Oral Presentations:
Students or classes who enjoy oral speaking may wish to share their oral presentations with other audiences, I would suggest that the teacher arrange for the class to go to an elementary school and present their dramatized stories to primary classes. Other audiences might be senior citizen centers or convalescent homes.