Monday 14 September 2015

Pratham Books Champion : Myth Aunty

The following story was sent to us by storyteller Myth Aunty. Myth Aunty works as a resident storyteller in 2 schools, with the elementary age children and has been telling stories for 13 years. She links stories from folklore and mythology to what the children learn in the school curriculum. She also conducts workshops for parents on ' Family Storytelling,' to help parents use the power of their own stories to pass on traditions, values, history, family pride and much more.

Session conducted on : 31st August
Number of kids : 
Number of sessions : 2
Language the session was conducted in : English

I conducted my first two sessions yesterday. I work at a school as a resident storyteller, so it was there that I did my sessions.

For the story session in school I began with a call and response African percussion chant, just to set the mood for the drum. It goes like this TOOM BAH YEEE LEY RO TOOM BAH.
We tried using our body to make percussion sounds. Thigh slapping, hand clapping, foot stomping and chest thumping. The children were quite vigorous with their body percussion and we moved on, probably with a lot of sore thighs in the house!!

I offered to read the book or to narrate it orally. Since I have worked with this group of kids over the past 5 years, they are used to listening to oral retellings and in fact prefer that. They say that my expressions and interactions are much more interesting when I narrate a story orally.

So along with instructions to ‘make the pictures in their head’ we dived into the story.

There were a lot of discussions over the kind of veggies the mother grew, we discussed what ‘herbs’ were and what their job was in the food preparation process, discussed the likelihood of the mother growing ‘fancy' veggies like lettuce and broccoli as against growing ‘common man' veggies like potatoes and spinach.

There was a lot of discussion about the ‘sinking feeling' one experiences when you do not get what you are experiencing and how we still say polite ‘Thank you's’ so that we don't hurt another’s feelings.(when the mom brought back a stick from the market)

WE went on to the yumminess of wood fired chapatti.......…with melted ghee glistening on the surface, the kids concluded that it would be right up there with wood fired pizza on the yumminess charts!!

The benefits and uses of cow dung was much debated with one faction ‘yucking and ewwwing ‘ it all the way and another more knowledgeable faction, extolling its virtues.

The discussion went on and on and the book was perfect for a hugely interactive session.

We ended the story by making story maps.

Story maps are a very simple exercise to help children remember the sequence of a story. This also serves as a wonderful tool to encourage children to narrate the stories to their friends and family at home, encouraging and developing storytelling in the children as well.

The easiest way to make a story map is to fold and A4 sheet into 8. When you open it out, there will be 8 blocks. The children were asked to draw symbols for the key points in the story. So some just drew a stick, chapatti, pot, coat etc. Others drew more elaborated maps.

Myth Aunty also sent us some of the Story Maps that the kids created.

Thank you Myth Aunty spreading the joy of reading!


In its fourth edition of the 'One Day - One Story' campaign, Pratham Books was joined by 2500+ storytellers who conducted 2300+ storytelling sessions. Many, many steps towards a 'Reading India'!

What started as a small step by Pratham Books to spread the joy of reading has become a movement. In 2012, Pratham Books initiated the One Day-One Story initiative on the occasion of International Literacy Day . We will be sharing the stories of all our volunteer storytellers (Pratham Books Champions) through our blog.

View more pictures from the International Literacy Day Celebrations held in 2015.

This blog contains stories sent in by all our champions. Browse through the blog for more stories. You can also go through the tags on the right side of the blog to find stories happening in your own city.

Note : If you want to be a Pratham Books Champion and join us on our journey of getting 'a book in every child's hand', write to us at champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

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