Malaysia International Storytelling Festival 2011 (Day 1)

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The MISF Booklet

When? 9 – 10th Sept 2011
Where? Sunway International School (SIS), Selangor Darul Ehsan.
What time? 9.30am – 4.30pm

The night before MISF, my hubby and I were at The Lion King Musical in Singapore (it was spectacular!), which ended at about 10.45pm. Right after that, we rushed back to my aunt’s place, got all our bags into the car, then headed back to Kuala Lumpur and reached at about 4.30am. That morning itself I had to attend MISF. So, you can say, I was half awake when the workshop started.
I decided to attend Roger’s session since I didn’t get the chance in Singapore. I was quite interested in the topic too, because I teach as well, but turned out this is more appropriate for older students. But I still got something out of it 😉
10th September 2011: The Stories Every Student Needs to Know (And How to Tell Them) by Roger Jenkins
Roger started the workshop with ‘The Crocodile and Sister Hen’ and my, did I enjoy it! I loved the way he told it as it included participation from the listeners, some sign-languages and hand gestures involved. His facial expressions made the story even more hilarious. Moral of the story? We’re all the same; we’re all brothers and sisters, so treat each other with respect. No bullying, no derogatory comments, and definitely no eating! 😀
Roger & Boys role-playing a story

In the next session, Roger got two participants from the crowd. If I’m not mistaken, both were students from SIS and got them to role-play in the next story about two friends fighting over a packet of Oreos, each claiming he saw the Oreos first, so it was his. Roger told both of them what to say in each part and the students, very amazingly, dramatized and acted out the scene perfectly! The boys really got into character. I had fun watching. The story ended with a teacher (Roger) asking them the colour of paper he was holding (One side was black, the other was white) So the person standing on one side, would only see the colour he sees. So the boys argued that the paper is the colour they saw. Then Roger asked them to switch places, then the boys realized the other party was right. An interesting way to learn ‘perspective/point of view’, might be a little complicated for younger learners though.

Roger telling the extended version of The Hare and The Tortoise

Next, he told ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’. This was fun. Might tell it to my students 🙂 Some of you might have heard of these versions before. After the race has ended, the hare realized his mistake, so he challenged the tortoise to another race. Learning from his mistake, the hare won the race this time. No doubt slow and steady is good, but fast and steady is even better!

Being the ever-confident hare, he decided to race with the tortoise again, allowing the tortoise to choose the track, because he got bored with the old track. When they raced, the hare came upon a river and was dumbfounded because he didn’t know how to swim. He panicked and decided to take a different route, while the tortoise, who loved swimming, calmly swam across it. The tortoise won the race in the end. This part, the listeners should learn that one should identify their strengths and use them to their full potential. In the final part, the hare and tortoise became friends and decided to compete in a marathon. They made use of each other’s strengths and won the competition!

After this session, we adjourned to a different room where we did some role-play activity. With a partner, we were asked to pick a story and tell it in different ways – a first person point of view, using only actions, very simple English to someone from China who has limited vocab, put the story in a different time and location, tell it very enthusiastically and tell it like you’ve told it a thousand times. This can be quite a fun class activity; very adaptable to different types of lessons too.

When we returned to our classroom, Roger told us some stories we could tell our students and showed us a list of them. Click here to get the list.

Dr. Wajuppa Tossa opens with 2 traditional songs

Riddle Stories – Creative Storytelling by Dr. Wajuppa Tossa
I find this session interesting and would love to apply this in my lesson. I know my students will love it 🙂 What I’ve learnt is that, any stories can be turned into a riddle story. It’s just a matter of turning a certain part of the story into a question or a problem to be solved.  Here were some of the riddle stories Dr. Wajuppa told us.

The Three Friends (the elephant, monkey and bird) (Great for pre-school), The Nine Bamboo Clumps (Some calculations are involved. Appropriate for 12 and above) and the Rich Man who seeks a Daughter-In-Law (for older audience).

Then we were asked to solve some riddle stories. Out of the list she gave, we picked 6 stories – One Cookie (from Europe), All is Mine, Serving Giant (from Laos), The Magic Stick (India), Bird in Hand (India) and Guilty Stone (China). It’s interesting to see the different answers given in some of the stories, as I like learning a different person’s point of view, or way of looking at life/a story, and how they derive at that answer.

After that mind-boggling session, we were then asked to turn a story we know into a riddle story. Our group decided to pick the story of The Golden Swan. Upon deciding the ‘riddle’, we then chose a storyteller to present the story. Unanimously, we picked the youngest 😉 And she did really well!

Attentive participants

The art of turning a story to a riddle story? Simple! Either leave the ending open or pick the highlight of the story, then ask why or how. If you want to add another question, just ask your listener to guess its title. This would be fun if you’ve got a funny title or a title that plays with words.

Although totally knackered after the workshops, I left feeling excited about preparing for my future storytelling sessions. I also attended the showcase that was held tonight from 8pm – 10.30pm.

If you’d like to see more pictures from MISF 2011, you can find me on Facebook (Jee Wan).

Click here for Day 2 🙂


3 thoughts on “Malaysia International Storytelling Festival 2011 (Day 1)

    myragarcesbacsal said:
    September 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

    This is truly such a comprehensive post. And yes I do feel like I’m there myself. Love your photos and your lay out as well.

    My family and I have also seen The Lion King here in Singapore and was totally blown away from the opening song alone – such a grand production indeed.

    I’m glad that the sessions were useful and relevant for you. I also hope you enjoyed the evening showcase in Day One. Looking forward to reading more of your updates. 🙂

    myragarcesbacsal said:
    September 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Shared this as well in my google plus! =)

    G1 responded:
    September 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you so much for your support Myra 🙂 I have google plus too but inactive 😦 Oh, yes The Lion King! If only I could see it again 😀 I loved all the characters played. The dance and body movement were fantastically choreographed too!

    Am working on Day 2 now hehe I’ll be sharing more photos on FB! Do you have an account there?

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