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Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0415966610 ISBN-10: 0415966612 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (September 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415966612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415966610
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,855,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Jack Zipes is one of our essential writers on storytelling past, present, and future. His work marks a happy and lasting marriage of prodigious scholarship and social commitment. -- Joseph Sobol, author of The Storytellers' Journey
Once again, Jack Zipes shows ways in which storytelling is essential to complex learning. This book will provide spice for teachers and help counter the boring, rigid regime imposed on children by high stakes testing. -- Herbert Kohl
Jack Zipes is one of our essential writers on storytelling past, present, and future. His work marks a happy and lasting marriage of prodigious scholarship and social commitment

. -- Joseph Sobol, author of The Storytellers' Journey
A concise and very useful aid to storytelling. -- Publishers Weekly
This is certainly thought provoking. -- Booklist
This is a remarkable book, the best of the many books about storytelling that I have read. -- Journal of educational Thought
This is a remarkable book, the best of the many books about storytelling that I have read. -- Journal of Educational Thought
Jack Zipes is one of our essential writers on storytelling past, present, and future. His work marks a happy and lasting marriage of prodigious scholarship and social commitment
. -- Joseph Sobol, author of The Storytellers' Journey

From the Publisher

A professor of German at the University of Minnesota who’s written many books on the influence of fairy tales, Zipes has long been a critic of "platform story-telling," which generally involves a performer, on a stage, entertaining spell-bound children. Essentially this calls to mind the whole Disney experience, of kids being wowed by a spectacle they whole-heartedly embrace. What Zipes wants instead is a storytelling process in which students take control, creating and performing new tales while revisiting and revising the old ones. The idea is for children to grasp the transformative power—as opposed to the entertainment value—of the craft.

For several years, Zipes has put this philosophy into practice with his Neighborhood Bridges program, now practiced in roughly 10 Minneapolis schools. Both teachers and specialists use a variety of techniques, he writes, to "animate and enable children to become better storytellers of their own lives." The students, for instance, create countertales to traditional stories such as "Hansel and Gretel" and "Little Red Riding Hood." With the latter, kids might consider themes of child abuse and abandonment. They also use fables about animals to create peace tales, myths to explore heroism, and tall tales to examine the adventures of ordinary people.

All of this is deeply engaging, though at times, Zipes’ own ideology threatens to undermine his efforts. Social activist that he is, he sometimes seems less interested in having kids create their own tales than in spinning out metaphors for reform. Still the value of Zipes’ enterprise is undeniable: In a time of near-relentless test prep, getting children to use stories and imagination to look closely at their world seems as refreshing as it does revolutionary.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By grasshopper4 on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Zipes' book provides a good introduction to various genres of storytelling. What is especially interesting about this book is that he provides a description of a program in which he uses storytelling as a way of teaching within Minneapolis schools. It's a fine documentation of a creative and innovative project which could be used in other educational settings. The book offers practical resources by providing texts to various stories and numerous activities for integrating storytelling into lessons on language arts and drama. These activities can be used in a range of classrooms, and they can be adapted for use in numerous settings. The book has a fine bibliography of resources for finding numerous stories for use in schools, and a good bibliography on relevant scholarship. Of particular interest is his discussion of wider implications of using this type of teaching in an educational climate that stresses standardized testing over creative teaching, and some of the ideas could be useful to counteract these stiffling trends in education. One limitation with this book, however, is its limited treatment of ways to integrate storytelling into curricula as educators will need to be convinced that this type of teaching is relevant and useful to their current situations.
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