Storytelling  

Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms, and continues to this day as a vibrant part of culture throughout the world

It is likely that oral storytelling has been around as long as human language. Storytelling fulfils the need for human beings to cast their experiences in narrative form. Our ancestors probably gathered around the evening fires and expressed their fears, their beliefs and their heroism through oral narratives. This long tradition of storytelling is evident in ancient cultures such as Africa. Community storytelling offered the security of explanation; how life and its many forms began and why things happen, as well as entertainment and enchantment. Communities were strengthened and maintained through stories that connected the present, the past and the future.

Telling stories is a nurturing act for the listener, who is connected to the storyteller through the story, as well as for the storyteller who is connected to the listeners through the story.

As you read the story, ask yourself:

Who are the main characters in the story?

Does anyone show friendship to another in the story?

Does anyone act selfishly?

Does anyone act bravely?

Do you think any of the characters changed in the story? Why?

What do you like best about this story?

What can we learn from this story?

Can you think of a different ending?

What does the story tell you about the country in which it was written?

In addition to these, there are some questions that could be applied to stories to try and get children to consider the international dimension. Here teachers can choose stories that fit with a topic within their curriculum.  Many teachers use stories from a range of cultures and traditions in their teaching. "World book days" etc. would be an ideal time to look at a story from a specific country or culture.

Please look at the 'key concepts of schools linking' and consider other questions which may be asked.

Here are some possibilities:
 

Social justice and equity

How was xxx treated? - Fairly or unfairly?

Is it right / wrong fair / unfair for xxx to happen to someone?

What choices did xxx make that affected what happened to him / her / others?

Are there any rules / guidelines in our school / family / community / country to ensure that people are treated fairly?

What can people do if these rules are broken?

 

Diversity

Have you ever been in a situation like xxx?

What would you have done in that situation?

How did what xxx do affect other people?

What similarities / differences between the characters / situations in the story are there compared with your own self / family circumstances?

How did the culture within which the story is set impact on the events / outcomes?

 

Peace and conflict

Did everyone in the story get on together?

What things did they have differences about?

Could they have got on?

What would xxx need to have done to get on with xxx?

What choices did xxx make that affected what happened to him / her / others?
 

Sustainable development / globalisation

How did xxx's actions have an effect upon the surrounding countryside / place he visited / where his things were taken?

Were any effects good / harmful?

Was the communication between each party affected by how they spoke to each other?

What changed as a result of the story?

Were things changed for the better for a long time?

Could things be put back to how they were before?
 

Stories from Malawi:
 

A CHIEF WHO SNATCHED A WIFE

A FAKE LIZARD

ALINAFE AND HIS GRANDPARENTS

ATTAINING THE LOST GLORY

DOCTOR HAWK AND HEN

DZIWE AND THE RADIO

FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN A DUCK AND A DOVE

HYENA AND HARE

IMPALA THE WISE MAN

JACKAL AND SQUIRREL

JOE AND THE FAKE MONEY

KALULU THE LAZY HARE

KAMBA THE TORTOISE AND KALULU THE HARE

LION AND THE ANTELOPE

MASTER FISH AND THE FISHERMAN

MILLIPEDE'S DAUGHTER

MR GULULE THE RICH MAN

ONCE UPON ATIME IN KWACHA VILLAGE

PUNDU AND KALULU

SNAKE IN THE GRASS

SUFFERERS OF THEIR DEEDS

TAMBALA AND KALULU

THE CLEVER TORTOISE

THE DIAMOND EGG

THE ELDERLY ARE SOURCES OF WISDOM

THE DIRTY TRICK

THE FRUITS OF FAITHFULNESS

THE OLD WOMAN OF DZAYE

THE VILLAGE HEAD AND HIS PEOPLE

TRAGEDY

WHY CATS HATE RATS

WHY HIPPO HAS NO HAIR

WHY WOMEN ALWAYS CARRY BABIES ON THEIR BACKS