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Welcome to
The Kids' Storytelling ClubRoom 

 

On this page you will find a story, a craft to help you tell it, and an activity, all centered around a theme. It's a fun way to help you learn, practice, or improve your storytelling skills. Every few months there will be a new adventure in storytelling on this page.

Telling a Beginning-to-tell Tale  
with an Easy-to-make P
uppet

           Long ago, boys and girls learned to read by using the family Bible or another book written for grownups. Then Beginning-to-read Books were developed especially for them and their special needs.
            Long ago, boys and girls learned to become storytellers by listening to other storytellers and participating in storytelling concerts and festivals.
            Today, young tellers are discovering that there are many fun ways to learn oral presentation skills.

ClubRoom Activity

           This current issue of The Club Room Page presents a beginning-to-tell tale, instructions for an easy-to-make puppet, suggestions for using it, ideas for creating your own tales, and recommendations for more storytelling projects.         

ClubRoom Story

How I First Met the Mini-Ghost
By Eloise Herr
Reprinted with permission from The Junior Storyteller, Volume 5, Issue 1

I was afraid.

I didn’t really believe Miss Anna, our camp counselor, or the camp story of the mini-ghost. How could this paper tissue puppet we were creating make you do things? Or help you?

“It made me tell the truth,” Carrie said. She leaned across the picnic table to pick up a rubberband. “Last year at camp, I lied and it made me tell the truth.”

“Not just lies,” said Miss Anna. “It makes you face whatever you’re afraid of.” Then she looked straight at me. “Especially if you’re running away from something.”

My stomach tied in a knot. I tried not to let my face show anything, but all the kids around the table were looking at me. I knew it was starting again. Here at camp, just like at school.

“You never know where you’ll meet a mini-ghost,” Carrie continued. “There might be one at your plate at dinner, or sitting on your pillow.”

“Or hanging in your tent.” The other kids joined in and everybody thought of someplace where I might find one. I knew they were planning to tease me with mini-ghosts wherever I went until they found out what I was afraid of.

But I couldn’t tell them. And, I wouldn’t be able to stop their teasing.

My brother says some people are just born to be teased. My Dad says to ignore it. And, Mom says not to react to it. But nothing works. Everybody teases me, at school, at home, and now here at camp.

And sure enough, there was a mini-ghost by my plate at lunch. And a mini-ghost dangled from the door of my locker. And a mini-ghost sat on my sleeping bag.

The next morning Miss Anna gathered our team under the big oak tree and read us a story. It was about Darby and how he caught a leprechaun.

“Now, if you catch a leprechaun,” she explained, “he has to tell you where he hides his gold. So this leprechaun took Darby to a field of bushes. He pointed to one bush and said that the gold was under it. Well, Darby didn’t have a shovel or anything to dig it up with. So, he tied his red scarf onto the bush and ran home for a shovel. When he came back, every bush in the field had a red scarf on it.”

Miss Anna looked at me and smiled, a smile like you give when you’re telling someone a hint to solve a puzzle.

I didn’t go on the hike that day. I went to the craft room and made mini-ghosts, lots off them, lots and lots of them. I put a mini-ghost on everyone’s sleeping bag. I put one next to everyone’s plate. And, I put one on everyone’s locker.

When the kids came back from the hike and found all the mini-ghosts, they all laughed and laughed and laughed.

And, that’s how the mini-ghost helped me get rid of teasing at camp last summer. Maybe it really does work!

ClubRoom Story Craft

Make Your Own Mini-Ghost Puppet


instructions-mini-ghost
Illustration ©Copyright 2015 Barbara Dubrovin

  1. To make this mini-ghost puppet you will need two paper tissues (or paper napkins), a rubberband, and a felt-tipped pen (or marker).
  2. Pick up one tissue (or napkin) and crush it into a ball. Roll it around in your hand to make it round.
  3. Pick up the second tissue. Place it over the crushed tissue. Shape the second tissue around the crushed tissue to create a head for your mini-ghost.
  4. Place the rubberband over this head to create a neck for your mini-ghost. Wind the rubberband back and forth over the head until it is tight.
  5. With the felt tipped pen make the eyes and mouth on the puppet head.

Tips for Telling

The best voice to use to tell this story is your own, natural voice, with words you use everyday.  Remember you are telling this story. Do not memorize it. Tell it as if you are the person in the story, the person this story is talking about. Make the puppet do things and act like a character in the story with you. You can change some parts. It's okay if you forget something. Remember, each telling is different. You will learn things that will make it easier and more fun with each telling. Remember to have fun while telling it. And don't be afraid, even if something goes wrong.

CreateYour Own Storytelling Stories  

What’s really scary? We all have a lot of fun with ghosts and goblins, scary sounds in the night, and aliens from outer space, especially at Halloween and around campfires during the fall. But what things are really scary to you? What are you afraid of?
            A national poll once found that many adults are most afraid of standing up and speaking in front of an audience. Even storytellers can have this fear.
          
Some boys and girls think that telling the truth can be a scary thing. Admitting a mistake can get you into trouble. Standing up to a bully can make your stomach do flip flops.
            Do a little brainstorming to see what ideas you come up with. Make a list of the things you fear most.

           The mini-ghost confronts you with the things you fear the most. It helps you face them. Check your list from your brainstorming. When and why would the mini-ghost appear to you? How would it make you face up to something you were running away from? Would it work for your friends, brothers, or sisters?
           What other things can you think up, fun things that aren’t mean, of course? Remember, the mini-ghost helps kids to stop being afraid.

 For Further Reading    

          
Real Scary Stories: Storytelling with a Ghostly Marionette,” Storytelling Discoveries: Favorite Activities for Young Tellers, by Vivian & Barbara Dubrovin. When your mini-ghost begins to wear out you may want to graduate to a stronger puppet like the ghostly marionette in chapter two of Storytelling Discoveries. You will only need a few simple marionette movements to tell this "The Little Ghost" story. However, you might  want to add some audience participation techniques by asking your audience to help you say the scary “Boo-o-o-o-o-o” sound while you tell this begining-to-tell tale about what happens when your marioette tries to scare a dog, a cat, and a horse.

“The Teeny-Tiny Guest,” Tradin’ Tales with Grandpa: a Kid’s Guide for Intergenerational Storytelling, by Vivian Dubrovin. The mini-ghost puppet makes an appearance at the end of this story.

           “The Secret of the Leprechaun’s Magic Box,” Storytelling Adventures: Stories Kids Can Tell, by Vivian Dubrovin. With a one-inch paper cube and a few magic words you can share this Leprechaun’s secret. And you can use the magic words any time you need them

Find these books and more on our  bookstore.             

Coming Next Time on the ClubRoom Page...
Discover Thank-you Storytelling Boxes

 Text Copyright 2015 Storycraft Publishing
Kids & Dragon Art Copyright  Bobbi Shupe 1995, 1996
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