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Participants were taken through the process of transforming one of two picture books – Ruby in Her Own Time and Aaaaargh, Spider! - into an interactive storytelling lesson. To develop their mastery of the elements of storytelling, participants worked in groups of three, each concentrating on a different section of a text to develop a three-part collaborative telling of the whole story.

Particular attention was paid to identifying and strengthening each teacher’s storytelling skills and how specific techniques of audience participation support early childhood literacy and English acquisition.

Afterward, teachers were asked to reflect on what they had led, give and receive constructive criticism, and discuss future applications. The overarching goals throughout were to help the teachers work in a student-centered manner, use effective questioning, explore how to encourage and incorporate student’s responses, and tap into their own creativity.

All workshops employed CAT’s “model-train- practice-reflect” approach to teaching and learning. As CAT facilitators guided the teachers through each drama activity, participants were invited not only to engage as “children,” but also to observe and reflect on what was being presented as educators.

CAT’s Featured Storybooks

Aaaaargh, Spider! By Lydia Monks

A lonely spider just wants to become

a family’s pet.

Unfortunately, every time this clever spider tries to impress her chosen family, she scares them and they reject her overtures. A wonderful story exploring persistence, acceptance, and the challenge of balancing between the desire to be part of a group and being self- sufficient.

Ruby in Her Own Time By Jonathan Emmett

A story about a young duck who does everything at


own pace and how her slightly anxious family learns to honor her learning process.

By being transparent about their motives and methods throughout the sessions, the CAT actor/teachers supported the teachers’ understanding of the different objectives and outcomes of each activity. Teachers were also encouraged share their own understanding of educational methodology and best practices with each other, often leading to exciting and instructive discussion amongst the cohort.

2011-12 Final Report CAT - NYC DOE OECE – Interactive Storytelling Professional Development Page 8

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