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The art of storytelling is an appealing way to transmit information. Since the beginnings of cultural history, people have been passing on knowledge through the speaking/listening process of storytelling. Subject areas come to life when narrative is introduced. Language arts seems a likely home for the art of storytelling; however, storytelling techniques and process can support exploration in many other curriculum area.
Gossip = an example of modern storytelling
Storytelling in Deaf Culture
American Sign Language has a rich literacy tradition. ASL is an unwritten language, so the art of storytelling is very much a part of Deaf culture. The storyteller and the story have an important role to play in the bonding of the Deaf-World and the transmission of its heritage and accumulated wisdom.
Humor plays a strong role in storytelling. The visual/manual modality of ASL creates special opportunities for humorists to play with the rules of grammar to entertain and enlighten us. Such humor also contains cultural messages and plays an important role in cementing the society.
ASL Story Telling
Story Telling is very important in ASL culture.
Story telling is a form of literature in Deaf culture. This is how information is communicated and passed down from generation to generation
Forms of ASL Story Telling
Sharing life experiences
Important Features in ASL Storytelling
Uses appropriately animated facial expressions
Knows how to use ASL role playing methods
Uses bodyshift and eyegaze to model the characters in the story as they communicate with each other
Has a wide range of ASL vocabulary choices to accurately represent the specific concept being conveyed
Uses classifiers liberally
Incorporates mime as appropriate
Tells culturally appropriate and representational stories
Metaphors are comparisons that show how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in one important way. Metaphors are a way to describe something.
ASL Metaphor Example: Bird of a Different Feather
Stories in which personal experiences are told
Often humorous, or of an important occasion
Based off of visual aspects instead of verbal/auditory aspects
Pleasing to the eye, not based off of sounds
In ASL Poetry, Poets Make Use of:
Word signs that are expressed poetically using regular or modified hand movements, palm orientations, and hand locations.
Facial expressions that further add to the hand signs.
Poetic expression through mouth and head movements.
Rhymes or ideas through eye movements and eyebrow movements.
Expressing ideas through body movements.
Different speeds in signing different lines of the poem. One line, for example, may be signed fast and another slow. Yet another line may be signed in a jerky fashion to convey a particular meaning.
Subtle and strong pauses between signs to emphasize an idea.
Regular poetic devises like rhyme, rhythm, line, meter, and stanza.
Features like classifiers, repitition, and assimilation.
Figurative language like metaphor, personification, taking roles, and symbols
A signed story that follows ABC order
Each sign that is used has a specific letter handshape and is signed in ABC order
When signing an ABC Story, it is imperative that you use role shifting and facial expressions. Most of the meaning of your story comes from body language
An ASL story that only uses one handshape for all signs.
Facial expressions, and role shifting is very important!
Stories that are made up of counting either forwards or backwards.
Example: 0-10, 15-0 ETC
Facial expressions and role shifting very important!