Now in its fourth year, an interdisciplinary unit built around the Native American storyteller doll is a highlight for second graders. In library classes the children explore and develop skills in composing and relating stories. In Art classes, an authentic storyteller doll serves as a model in motivating children to create their own.
This doll was created through a grant to Council Rock School and came from the Cochti Pueblo community in Arizona. The figure represents the handing-down of stories within a family or small segment of society. Like traditional dolls, this one has secondary figures representing those listening to the stories. These dolls are not religious in nature, but are symbolic of the sharing of tradition and culture across generations.
In making their own storyteller dolls, many children create a setting characteristic of the southwest as a background for their dolls. In some classrooms stories are composed and shared, and the theme is symbolized by a student's doll and its setting.
story by Lawrence Root
photo by Gretchen Shafer
May 6, 2001