FOR EVERY RHYME THERE IS A REASON STUDY GUIDE
FOR EVERY RHYME THERE IS A REASON: CAUSE AND EFFECT STORIES begins with a Southern folktale of SOAP, DON”T FORGET THE SOAP, an add on story that can turn into a circular story just by changing the ending to make it cyclical. In cartooning, Rube Goldberg was famous for creating wacky, many stepped, chain reaction inventions for solving the simplest problems. For example: How to catch a fishing worm, as demonstrated in this show with the use of twelve helpers. Look forward to a concluding story that brings it all home. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; for every rhyme there is a reason; for every cause there is an effect. Great begining of the year program to think about actions, reactions, and consequences as exemplified in story form.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, professional actress, dancer, and storyteller, is known for her variety of characters, one-woman shows, and for her rapport with audiences. A performer and “creator of shows” since she can remember, she has toured in schools coast to coast, since receiving a BA in English/elementary education from UNC-Charlotte, and a MFA in dance performance/choreography/theatre at the University of Wisconsin. She tours through Tattlingtales Productions, the Georgia and South Carolina Touring Arts Rosters, Fulton County Teaching Museums, and has received numerous grants and honors, including Outstanding New Interpreter for her region with the National Association of Interpreters. She is the author of four non-fiction books.
Background on Art Form
Telling stories is an oral tradition, dating back to when mankind first developed a language or form of communication. Storytelling is a universal way of passing down information to be saved and remembered for generations to come. It is an interactive art form in which the storytellers’ passion for the story, material, and information, is passed on to the audience, who sorts through, interprets, stores, and synthesizes what is heard.
Prepare: Teachers, please read this to your students.
Today we are going to have a program by actress storyteller Cathy Kaemmerlen in which she tells stories that set up a chain of events, like a set of dominoes that fall one after the other. In storytelling, this might be an add on story, like This is the house that Jack builtor If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. We also have examples of this in science and through the antics of Rube Goldberg in his series of wacky inventions where one part of the invention sets off the next part. If the storyteller asks for your help, simply raise your hand and wait to be called on. She won’t be able to use all of you but everyone will get to take part in the fun. Let’s think about how one person’s action can set up a chain reaction, a series of events that may be beneficial or not.
Warm Up Questions to set the stage for engaging students:
What is a chain reaction?
What would it be in literature, in a story?
What do you think an add on story means? Can you think of some examples?
Can you think of stories or examples in your own life of an action you take that causes a reaction?
Can you think of a time when one small action has created a chain reaction, a series of actions that could have been avoided.
Vocabulary to look at before and after:
chain reaction: a series of reactions, each one caused by the one before
cause and effect: an action and its subsequent result
domino theory: in politics, when one nation topples, the one next to it will topple next
“for every rhyme there is a reason”: for every cause there is an effect; for every time there is a season
nuclear reaction: a chain reaction involving the nucleus or core
wacky: odd, goofy, way out
Warm Up Questions for meeting the Georgia Performance Standards for “Listening/Speaking/Viewing”:
Describe the perfect audience.
What are some of our class rules for being good listeners?
How do we show someone we appreciate their visit to our school or classroom?
How does being part of an audience help make you a good citizen?
What are some examples of bad audience behavior or attitudes?
How does a negative audience member effect your enjoyment of a show or performance? Could this lead to a chain reaction?
How would this make the performer feel?
How do we want the performer to feel when they leave our school or classroom?
Discuss what a chain reaction is. Find examples of chain reactions in everyday life, in stories, or make up your own. Build domino or card houses or trails to see how the principle of chain reaction works. Make up an add on story using a story starter such as: This is the school where we go; This is the house where I live: This is the classroom that I am in, etc. Make up your own why the chicken crossed the road jokes. See how many different versions you can collect. Create your own wacky inventions a la Rube Goldberg on paper, then try to act them out. Discuss how one person’s action can cause a reaction that can lead to a series of “unfortunate events.”
WHY THE CHICKEN CROSSED THE ROAD by David MacCauley
THE NAPPING HOUSE by Audrey and Don Wood
THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (anonymous)
BRINGING THE RAIN TO KAPITI PLAINS adapted by Verna Aardema
IF YOU BRING A MOUSE A COOKIE/IF YOU BRING A MOOSE A MUFFIN by Laura Joffe
RUBE GOLDBERG’S WACKY INVENTIONS by Rube Goldberg (out of print)
SOAP, SOAP, SOAP (in GRANDFATHER TALES) by Richard Chase
SOAP, SOAP, SOAP adapted by Tom Birdseye
QCC’s: K-5 Language Arts: 28; Grade 1 Language Arts: 21; Grades 2 and 3 Language Arts: 25; Grade 4 Language Arts: 24; Grade 5 Language Arts: 28