Fourth graders at Salem School are deep in the context of their stories via the Submerge Storytelling program. As part of the program, the classroom, aka “the Realm,” is used as the live setting for a story being told. Students draw conclusions about the story’s characters, plot and themes by using and locating a variety of contents and clues placed within the room. As the story is read, students stop and search for clues to answer different questions posed by the storyteller. They then examine their discoveries and follow the story, which is filled with twists and turns, and draw conclusions based on the clues they uncover. Storyboard-like illustrations are often incorporated into the setting to help guide them through the plot. Students relate to the issues touched on in the stories.
“The prearranged classroom, backed by entertaining storylines, engages students and allows them to act out the pages,” said Salem Principal Pia Sanchez-Ferrante. “It sharpens their literacy, critical thinking and life skills through the text-to-self literary connections they make. The interactive strategies also foster a sense of individuality in students, as well as camaraderie among them.”
The Submerge Storytelling program was funded by the South Salem HSA.