Small Moments stories only improves if students know how to tell a story. Lucy Calkins refers to this as storytelling. The staff at the Teachers College that work with Lucy Calkins recommends the following 5 steps for teaching children to storytell as a week long event.
1. The teacher models storytelling an event the class experienced together with rich story language across 5 fingers. The teacher tells the story multiple times. The students and the teacher tells the story numerous times. It is important for multiple retellings. This is an oral retelling of the story again today.
2. The class gathers to retell the same story with a storytelling partner. Teacher coaches students to remember characters names, say what the character said, etc. The teacher might retell before (or after) the students depending on how much support the students need. It is important that the students have multiple chances for retelling. This is an oral retelling of the story again today.
3. The students sit in a circle and retell the same story as a class. “Today we are all going to share the _____________________ (one story with one event) as one storyteller.” The children tell the story on their 5 fingers using repetition and rehearsal.
4. While children tell the story, teacher sketches the pictures across pages. It is important that the children are retelling the story across their 5 fingers. It is also important that the children are verbalizing the story. Repetition and rehearsal is leading to most if not all children repeating the story at some level.
5. The teacher writes the words on the last day to the story in front of the students (demonstration).
This procedure is repeated throughout the year to teach storytelling language. The same story is used for the week. It is an experience that all the children have shared. The teacher might guide the writing about a moment on the playground, singing a song, spilling pencils, a silly moment that the class experienced, or something else that has a beginning, middle and end within the moment.