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Literacy activities: Storyteller — The Snapdragon Plant

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By Pie Corbettauthor, poet and storyteller

Take a peak at one of the tantalising tales with accompanying activities from Scholastic’s Storyteller series

Storyteller - The Snapdragon Plant

An age-old favourite tradition, it’s no wonder that storytelling has got its own day dedicated to it in March. And, you can make the most of celebrating this ageless pastime in the classroom. Storytelling is a powerful tool in promoting all aspects of literacy – reading, writing and oral communication. Best of all, it’s an experience that children won’t fail to be stimulated and excited by, so that their usual perception of a literacy lesson will suddenly become blurred as they enjoy listening and responding to the richness of words. ‘The Snapdragon Plant’, taken from Storyteller For ages 7 to 9 by Pie Corbett (Scholastic, £20 PB), is a wonderful myth-style creation story that explains the rotating seasons. You can read the story on Activity sheets ‘The Snapdragon Plant’ and watch a video of the story being read by Taffy Thomas.

The Storyteller series

Scholastic’s Storyteller series develops the spoken art of storytelling through print, audio, video and the spoken word. The pack for seven to nine year olds comprises:

  • Storyteller For ages 7 to 9 by Pie Corbett (£20 PB) – teachers’ notes on each story with a CD-ROM (providing videos of nine of the stories).

Dragonory

  • Dragonory and other stories for 7-9 year olds compiled by Pie Corbett (£5.99 PB) – a collection of 17 stories with an audio CD.

A pack for nine to 11 year olds, including Storyteller For ages 9 to 11 by Pie Corbett (£20 PB) and The Boy and the Tiger and other stories for 9-11 year olds compiled by Pie Corbett (£5.99 PB) is also available. For more information, visit the Scholastic Scholastic Shop.

More storytelling ideas…

More storytelling resources are available in our online archive for you to use in your classroom.

About the story

‘The Snapdragon Plant’ is a sort of myth that explains the seasons rotating. An approximate phonetic translation of ‘Moel Fammau’ (the mountain featured in the story) is ‘Mole Vam-eye’.

Getting to know the story well

Share ‘The Snapdragon Plant’ using the activity sheets with the children before carrying out the following activities.

Drama

  • Take on the role as the Mayor; let the children be ‘the people’. Role play the scenes between the Mayor and the people and the Mayor and the dragon.

Writing in role

  • Write up the agreement between the Mayor and the dragon.
  • Get the children to write in role as a school friend of the boy. Can they make a list of things that the friend enjoys about winter, spring, summer and autumn? Tell them to list signs for each season to help the dragon know when the seasons change.

Art

  • Divide a painting into quarters and paint seasonal images of the dragon.

Discuss

  • Ask: Is the Dragon of Winter a real dragon?

Retelling the story aloud

  • As ‘The Snapdragon Plant’ is quite a long story, organise the children to retell the story in groups. Hand out the flowchart on the first of the ‘Storyteller: The Snapdragon Plant’ activity sheets to help them remember the elements of the story.

From telling to writing

  • Let the children build up their initial description of the frozen landscape. Give them the option of using a different sign at the end.

Exclusive reader offer!

We have five sets of the 7-9 Storyteller books to give away. Each set includes a teachers’ book and six copies of Dragonory and other stories. To enter, visit our giveaways section now!

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