Story time on planet Earth
August 1, 2013

bestspeaker

STORY TIME ON PLANET EARTH

Boy: What’s that?

Mum: It’s a ‘Best Speaker’ ribbon – I won it in my Toastmasters Club, it’s like an award.

Boy: Can I borrow it for my bedroom, like I borrowed your old swimming trophies?

Mum: You can HAVE it if you like?

Boy: No. I have to WIN it, I can’t just have it.

Mum: OK.

Boy: We need to have a competition. I’ll say “put your hands on your head” or “put your hands in the air” or “put your fingers in your ears” and the first one to do it wins. The one with the most points wins the ribbon.

Mum: We could do that, but it’s an award for the sort of speaking where you tell a story.

Boy: But who can I tell a story to? Not just you, that wouldn’t work.

Mum: What about your teddies?

Boy: OK, I’ll tell a story to my teddies and you have to tell me if it’s good enough for the ribbon. Don’t just say it’s good though – you can say if it’s not good enough.

Mum: OK, how about I tell you the things I liked about it and also things you could do to improve it?

Boy: Yes! And if there are more things that you liked about it than things to improve, then I win the ribbon. But not if there’s more things to improve than you liked.

Mum: OK – Go on.

Boy: Once upon a time, there lived a boy and his name was Tom. He lived with his mum and he grew up to be really happy in his house. Then all of a sudden his mum died, and his dad had to look after Tom all by himself. One day, his dad took him out for a walk in the woods and it was very strange because it all looked like winter, but it was the middle of summer! The End.

Mum: That was great!
I loved the storyline – it was a bit sad wasn’t it, but very interesting and you had some really good ideas in there – like summer looking like winter.
I also like the structure, you had: a beginning – once upon a time and it was great how you gave the boy a name, Tom; a middle – where he was happy in his house and then the mum suddenly died; and an end – where things started to look different.
I also liked the expression you used in your voice when you were telling the story – you made the ending sound very mysterious.
I liked it so much that, the only thing I could suggest if you wanted to improve it would be to think about using some more describing words – adjectives.

Boy: I know what describing words are – it’s when you say a thing and then you describe it!

Mum: Yes, so you could have said something like “he grew up to be really happy in his BEAUTIFUL house” or “HEAVENLY house”.

Boy: Yes, I see… So was it good enough for the ribbon?

Mum: Yes! I liked three things about it, but could only suggest one thing to improve, couldn’t I?

Boy: Was it three? Yes – I liked the storyline, the structure and the expression you used in your voice.

Boy: Oh yes. I WISH I could stick it on my wall.

Mum: Here [passes some white tack].

Boy: [Sticks the ribbon in the centre of the world image on the OU Frozen Planet poster by his bed] I want to stick it here because I look at this poster every night. I read all the parts of it every night – it helps me when I’m not feeling sleepy.

Do something exciting
July 19, 2013

dosomethingBoy: Today nobody at school listened to me and I REALLY needed to tell them something!

Mum: What did you need to tell them?

Boy: I can’t remember, but NOBODY would listen!

Mum: Well, it’s a hot day and sometimes people get a bit grumpy on hot days and might not want to listen as much.

Boy: But I listened to THEM!

Mum: Sometimes you’ll just have days when you feel like nobody’s listened, unfortunately it’s part of life. I have that sometimes – some days I feel like nobody’s listened to me at work. What do you think I should do then?

Boy: [Thinks for a while]… You should get them to stop thinking about the hot sun by doing something exciting.

Mum: What might that be?

Boy: You could ask them if they wanted something to eat. Or to drink.

Mum: Sounds like a good plan – they’d have to listen if their mouth was full!

Too much talk
May 19, 2013

toomuchtalkSon: Our teacher read us a story today and it was called Too Much Talk. The story happened in Africa and it went like this:

There was a farmer and he was going to dig up some yams.
And then the yams talked and then the dog talked, so he ran UPhill and DOWNhill and DOWNhill and UPhill, unti he came to a fisherman.
The fisherman said, “Why are you running in the heat of the day?”
“Well,” said the farmer, “first my yam talked, then my dog talked.”
“Oh,” said the fisherman, “that can’t happen!”
“Oh yes it can!” said the fish.
“Ahhhhh!” Screamed the fisherman and they ran UPhill and DOWNhill, DOWNhill and UPhill until they came to a weaver.
The weaver said, “Why are you running in the heat of the day?”
“Well,” said the farmer and the fisherman, “first the yam talked, then the dog talked, then the fish talked.”
“Oh,” said the weaver, “that can’t happen!”
“Oh yes it can!” said the cloth.
“Ahhhhh!” Screamed the weaver and they ran UPhill and DOWNhill, DOWNhill and UPhill until they came to a swimmer.
The swimmer said, “Why are you running in the heat of the day?”
“Well,” said the farmer and the fisherman and the weaver, “first the yam talked, then the dog talked, then the fish talked, then the cloth talked.”
“Oh,” said the swimmer, “that can’t happen!”
“Oh yes it can!” said the wave.
“Ahhhhh!” Screamed the swimmer and they ran UPhill and DOWNhill, DOWNhill and UPhill until they came to a chief.
The chief said, “Why are you running in the heat of the day?”
“Well,” said the farmer and the fisherman and the weaver and the swimmer, “first the yam talked, then the dog talked, then the fish talked, then the cloth talked and then the wave talked.”
“Oh,” said the chief, “well, too much talk – go away before I throw you all into jail!”
So they dashed off backed to their houses.
The chief sat in his chair and said, “imagine that! A talking yam, a talking dog, a talking fish, a talking cloth, a talking wave – that can’t happen!”
“Oh yes it can!” said the chair.
“Ayyyyyy!” Screamed the chief and he ran UPhill and DOWNhill, DOWNhill and UPhill and he was never seen again.

How funny is that – that the chair talked to him?!

Mum: That’s very well remembered.

Son: Can you think what was repeated over and over again in the story?

Mum: The hill.

Son: Good – yes. What else?

Mum: Talking?

Son: Good – yes. What else?

Mum: I don’t know.

Son: First!

[Book summary: Too Much Talk by Angela Shelf Medearis]

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