Tell Us a Story Storytelling in the Classroom

Matthew James Friday works at TASIS as a grade 5 teacher and resident storyteller. He developed his interactive storytelling method when teaching in elementary schools in London and has since shared the method with international schools all over Europe and Asia. In the last eighteen months, Matthew has been a guest storyteller at schools in Berlin, Bucharest, Bonn, and Rotterdam. In his method, the students are actively involved in the storytelling as actors while Matthew tells the story. The audience is also called upon to contribute sound effects and motions and answer questions.

Over the last ten years, Matthew has participated in numerous storytelling festivals and university and teacher-training conferences where he instructs educators to develop skills and confidence with storytelling. In addition, he has created hours of professional development for the schools he has worked in. His next workshop will be at the Milan International Teacher Association (MITA) Conference 2019, and he will also lead another workshop at TASIS soon.

TASIS faculty and area educators attended Matthew's first storytelling workshop in late November. Students from his fifth grade class helped Matthew provide examples of how to use storytelling with students.

At the TASIS Storytelling workshop, Matthew discusses the importance of storytelling in today's world.

Being a classroom teacher, Matthew is always keen to show how storytelling can stimulate the development of English in the classroom, especially in international schools where most of the children have English as an additional language. Storytelling is a wonderfully fun way to stimulate oral English, which naturally leads to children writing in English so that they can become storytellers. This stage is, Matthew believes, the most important and rewarding. In addition, the acting and performance elements of the storytelling are a wonderful way to develop student confidence and stagecraft skills. Storytelling can also be used across the wider curriculum, and Matthew has used his method to tell nonfiction stories in science, social studies, and religious studies lessons. Matthew has previously served as a literacy coordinator, and he is also a widely published poet and journalist.

Enjoy a story that Matthew and his class performed at the Storytelling workshop.

You can read articles Matthew has had published on all of the above at https://www.edutopia.org/users/matthew-james-friday. He also has a free teacher/parent resource website: https://thestorycafe.weebly.com/. You may also like to visit his personal writing website: https://matthewfriday.weebly.com/.

For more information about The American School in Switzerland, visit our website: www.tasis.ch.

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