THE STORYBOOK EXPRESS STUDY GUIDE
Prepared by Cathy Kaemmerlen
We’re off on a journey on the “Storybook Express” and on our train trip we’ll hear and act out classic folk stories with some new treatments. Stories include: a version of THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF; LITTLE MISS MUFFET REVISITED; MARTHA, THE LITTLE RED HEN; and THE FAT CAT, a story that brings back some of the characters from the previous stories in one last romp. Sometimes we might visit THE OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY, for the bigger audiences. Our journey is especially for the preK-K audience. There’s lots of audience participation too, as well as fun costumes, props, and characters.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, author, actress, historical interpreter, playwright, and storyteller, is known for her variety of characters, one-woman shows, and for bringing history to life. 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 some 20 current shows which she wrote, through the Georgia and South Carolina Touring Arts Rosters, Fulton County Teaching Museums, G.E.T. Programs in the Schools, and through her own production company, Tattlingtales Productions. She is the author of four books and many plays, including one commissioned by the DeKalb Historical Society. Most recently she was commissioned by the Plains Chautauqua Society to write and appear in the one-woman show: The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail
Sara Gaare has been a teaching artist for the past two years, performing all around metro Atlanta. She also teaches and performs improv and sketch comedy in Atlanta with the Clarkston Community Center, The Village Theater, and Highwire Comedy Co. She created Power Suit, a monthly, all female comedy variety show she hosts and performs sketches in. Previously she lived in Chicago where she trained and performed at iO, The Second City, The Annoyance, ComedySportz, and many others. There she created the award winning sketch group MRS. that performed all around the city and did many sketch comedy festivals. Graduate of Pebblebrook Performing Arts High School in Cobb County and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she is the daughter of Cathy Kaemmerlen.
Background of 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.
Teachers, please read this to your students.
Today we are going to take a pretend train trip on the Storybook Express. Along the way we’ll hear some stories told by actress/ storyteller Cathy Kaemmerlen. She will bring to life some classic folktales like THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF, THE GINGERBREAD MAN, and THE LITTLE RED HEN. But she might make some changes. This is called adapting the story. She loves to make stories come to life through acting out the stories and often needs helpers. (For younger audiences: If she asks for help, please remember to raise your hand and wait to be called on. Not everyone can be chosen, but everyone will participate in the telling of the stories.) Look for the reappearance of some of the characters in her last story called THE FAT CAT.
Warm Up Questions to set the stage for engaging students:
What is a folk tale?
What is a fairy tale?
What is the difference in a folk tale and a fairy tale?
How does a fairy tale typically start and end?
How does a folk tale typically start and end?
What are some ways to make a story come to life?
What stories would you choose to put in a show?
Vocabulary to look at before and after:
Oral tradition: stories that have been passed down to us by word of mouth
Folktale: stories handed down by people and cultures
Fairytale: magical tales created often from folktales
Journey: a trip from home
Journey cake: similar to a pancake or a big cookie
Troll: an ogre from Scandinavian tradition who may have more than one head and stays in dark places because he can turn into a rock from exposure to the sun
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?
.How would this make the performer feel?
.How do we want the performer to feel when they leave our school or classroom?
Talk about what makes a story good.
How did the billy goats outsmart the troll?
Who was the bravest of the billy goats? (The power of the small.)
Was the little red hen right to eat the corn on the cob all by herself?
What parts of the story/ies did you like best and why?
Pick a story and tell your own version. Would you change the ending?
Joanna Cole: BEST LOVED FOLKTALES OF THE WORLD
Jane Yolen: FAVORITE TOLKTALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Nancy and Edward Yishen: A TREASURY OF STORIES FOR CHILDREN
Asbjornsen and Moe: SCANDINAVIAN TALES (THE TABBY WHO WAS SUCH A GLUTTON)
Rowena Bennett: THE GINGERBREAD MAN
Margaret Read MacDonald: THE FAT CAJE
Ruth Sawyer: JOURNEYCAKE HO
Eric Kimmel: THE RUNAWAY TORTILLA
Mary Finch: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF
Paul Galdone: THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF
Stephen Carpenter: THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF
Margot Zemach: THE LITTLE RED HEN
Mary Finch: THE LITTLE RED HEN AND THE EAR OF WHEAT
Margaret Hillert: NOT I NOT I
Margaret Read MacDonald: THE OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A VINEGAR BOTTLE