World Class Tales: Tales From Around The World Study Guide

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WORLD CLASS TALES: TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD STUDY GUIDE
by Cathy Kaemmerlen

Program Description
WORLD CLASS TALES is a concert of storytelling pieces from around the world.  Actress/dancer/storyteller Cathy Kaemmerlen brings each tale to life with her unique style, carefully choosing each story for its universal value.  She then scripts and sculpts the story adding music, characterization, costuming, and movement.  A repertory of stories from the following and others:

.THE CHILDREN OF LIR-adapted from an Irish folktale
.THE TIGER AND THE BRAHMAN–adapted from an Indian folktale
.THE BOY WHO DREW CATS–adapted from a Japanese folktale
.ANANSI AND THE HAT SHAKING DANCE–adapted from an African trickster tale
.TWO OLD WOMEN–adapted from an Athabaskan Indian legend from Alaska
.THREE STRONG WOMEN-adapted from a Japanese folktale
.FINN MCCOUL AND THE GIANT CULCULLIN–adapted from an Irish folktale
.EYES OF THE DRAGON–a Chinese Tale

Artist Bio
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..

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 who will be presenting three stories from different cultures around the world. She will take us there through music, dance, and a story that represents that culture.

Warm Up Questions to set the stage for engaging students

  • Why is it interesting to hear stories from around the world?
  • Are there similar elements in these stories?
  • What are the universal elements or themes?
  • What can we learn from stories? Are they teaching tales too?
  • How do folktales differ from fairy tales?
  • Why did stories/folktales start as part of our oral tradition?


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?

Reflect

  • What did the artist do to enhance, enrich, simplify the tale?
  • Try telling a story by timing it to a piece of music or a musical collage.
  • Talk about how each individual storyteller lends her/his own particular style in bringing the tale to life.
  • Try learning a story literally word for word, then performing it.  Notice how you automatically make some changes to make it your own.
  •  How can music and costuming and music be used effectively in presenting stories?

Resources
MISOSO by Verna Aardema
BEST LOVED FOLKTALES OF THE WORLD selected by Joanna Cole
FAVORITE FOLKTALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD edited by Jane Yolen
MOONCAKES AND HUNGRY GHOSTS:  FESTIVALS OF CHINA by Carol Stepanchuk
TALES ALIVE! retold by Susan Milford
EXPLORING CULTURES AND THEIR STORIES by Dr. Flora Joy
LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO FROG:  STORYTELLING IN EDUCATION by Cooper and Collins
TALES AS TOOLS:  THE POWER OF STORY IN THE CLASSROOM: National Storytelling Association

QCCs
K-5 Language Arts:  2; Grade 1:  Literature 44; Grades 2, 3, 4 Literature: 45 and 51: Grade 5 Literature: 57; Grade 6 Literature:  26.29,66; Grade 7 Literature: 15, 21, 61; Grade 8 Literature: 25: Character Education K-8:  7, Citizenship