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What's the Story


History is a story well told. Through storytelling children can understand what's involved in writing the stories that make history.

What you'll need:
Family members and friends
A fairy tale or folk tale
History log

What to do:

  1. Tell a story of a person you know. Gather your children, other family members, and friends to have a storytelling session. Choose a person you know about whom the group will tell the story. Decide who will begin, and go clockwise from there with each person adding to the story. Set a time limit so that you must end the story somewhere.

  2. Read a folk story or fairy talk, for example, Little Red Riding Hood or The Story of Johnny Appleseed. Talk about how the story begins and ends, who the characters are and what they feel, and what happens. Ask how this story based on fantasy is different from the story you told about the real person you know.

  3. Read a story about an historical event. Now pick a moment in world history, for example the fall of the Berlin Wall, the French and Indian War, or a current event in the news headlines. Ask the librarian for help in choosing material that is at your child's reading level.

  4. Help your child write in the history log about this storytelling experience.

Questions to ask:
In the storytelling session about the person you know, how did you verify the "truth" when there were differences of opinion about what "really happened"? If you were to write the story of a real event for the newspaper, what would count for you the most in preparing it? What else would you include? Where would you get your information? How would you check the accuracy of the information?







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