Props in Storytelling

Props can be anything used to aid in the telling of a story. The audience needs to be made to believe that the object is representative to some aspect of the story. Tell the story, because the audience wants to believe.

In the classroom, props can be used throughout the story or just as a trigger at a turning point in the audience imagination. Props can be chosen to be the focus of vocabulary words, or for teaching actions or expressions. Props could be maps, balls, cookies, a stone, a scarf, a flower, anything that has to do with anything in the story.

Use of props may vary from story to story and from storyteller to storyteller. Straw could be the little pigs house, witch hair, a chore for a princess to spin to gold. A ball could become a globe, a crystal ball, somebody’s head. A scarf becomes a map, a baby, the earth or the sky, a curtain, a cloak, a bed, a place to hide. A stone could become the main ingredient for a delicious soup.

In The Book Thief the main character brings a bucket of snow to represent winter. When her friend in the basement is near death, she coaxes him back to life by bringing him presents. She brings him a deflated soccer ball in order to tell him about the soccer games they play outside. She brings him cotton to tell him about the season change and the clouds outside. She brings ribbons, erasers, and other pieces of trash. She nourishes him with stories and presents so that the stories become more real.

We put meaning on objects. Objects come to symbolize events and experiences. (wedding rings, class rings,etc) We collect objects to communicate our stories.


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Thalya Goldfeld

Thalya Goldfeld, (Masters in Education, CUNY) is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer. Specializes in English language storytelling for young learners.

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