The last September, I attended a conferences organized by Ministries of Culture and Education from Spain on ways of reading. Yes, ways of reading, you have read right. It was very well attended by teachers, librarians and people from the sphere of reading and edition. The sessions were a really mixed of topics into book culture so to speak: storytelling and the important role of grandparents, great storytellers through the time, the use of interactive whiteboards at the schools or the interesting programme broadcasted on Spanish TV, Página 2, about promote reading. No doubt I would have gone to each and every one of the conferences that were held there but if I had to choose a session, I would choose the one about Kamishibai. Do you want to know why? Do you want to know what it is exactly? Read on and put into practice in your English lessons... why not?
It was carried out by two teachers, C. Aldama and P. Labayen, from the San Juan de la Cadena School (Pamplona, Navarra, Spain) and it was great. I must congratulate them because I had heard about it, of course, but I had never ever attended a performance. As they said, it is a very known way of telling stories in Japan. It means “paper-theatre” and it is usually aimed at children, although it is used as teaching resource too. It consists of a group of big cards with drawings or photos on one side and text on the other side. The text is always on the back, because of this it must be read by a performer while students see the pictures. These cards are placed in a special support which simulates a three-door puppet theatre known as “butai” facing the audience. The performer slides the cards one by one while he/she plays the text.
Teachers are usually who take charge of this performance, although many schools organize workshops so that their students learn to create it and at the same time they learn to summarize contents since a picture must reflect that the performer is telling the audience and this text must be clear and concise. Furthermore, they will learn to speak in public in a confident manner as they will perform at the school.
Even Infant or Primary Education students could try it. In this way and from three or four keywords, they would paint their own pictures and the teacher would help them to put together the story.
For further information, please, have a look at its site. You will find kamishibai in English language too... Kamishibai workshop (San Juan de la Cadena School, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain).
Who is going to be the first to tell a story? Try it! The chances of reading are infinite!
My own kamishibai in coming posts!