• Pridie Tiernan

STORY #13: HOW THE WHALE GOT HIS THROAT

Updated: Jun 17

When it comes to stories of 'extraordinary ingenuity and inventiveness' (quoting the mighty Michael Morpurgo), you can't beat a bit of Kipling and his 'Just So' stories! Tuesday's tale will be 'How The Whale Got His Throat' with a little bit of teaching about talking to your reader!

FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY AT 10.15AM, THEN UPLOADED TO WEBSITE! Or, click here to watch it now!

BACKGROUND-BITE: Published in 1902, the Just So Stories began as bedtime stories that Rudyard Kipling told his daughter "Effie" to help her go to sleep. There are thirteen stories and nine of them explain how certain animals were changed from their original forms to their current forms by the acts of human or magical beings.


Now some of you might be thinking - "Why is she choosing to share this story when it's not a folktale, fairytale, myth or legend?' Well, for two reasons - the first is because in Science and Philosophy the 'just so' story is an 'untestable narrative explanation' of something that has happened - much like most origin myths! And second, we LOVE Rudyard Kipling's stories because they are so wonderful to read aloud together! They sound just like someone tell a tale so they definitely deserve a spot in storytelling blog!


The 'Just So' stories are intimately told, with Kipling talking directly to us as if it was our bedtime - we feel like his "best beloved" Effie. With him we are whisked off on exciting adventures to meet creatures we would love to see in real life! He's just like everyone's favourite grandad - teaching us cheeky little things that we know can't be true but which we want to believe because it's entertaining and enjoyable to be so imaginative together!

ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN - EYFS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):

1. Listen to some more Just So stories - https://librivox.org/just-so-stories-version-4-by-rudyard-kipling/

2. Find out a bit more about whales with Cbeebies Andy - https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00039zk/andys-safari-adventures-series-1-31-andy-and-the-humpback-whale

3. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how dramatic you can make your own re-working of our tale!

4. Try telling the story from the whale's perspective - here's a funny little video to help remind you how to organise your story - www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpWHZJZQDSE

5. Using story stones/dice to devise the next adventure for the sailor / whale!

6. Make your own whale our of toilet rolls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mg-6s0Sne8

ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN - FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):


1. Listen to some more Just So stories - https://librivox.org/just-so-stories-version-4-by-rudyard-kipling/

2. Find out what would happen if you were actually swallowed by a whale - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW6fCR19mE8

3. Watch these whales feed on krill on Blue Planet - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRkxyROtjn4

4. Learn a bit more about whales - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozi7lcyatt0

5. Create an comic strip or animation of the story - https://www.imagineforest.com/blog/how-to-create-a-comic-strip/ , www.storyboardthat.com/storyboard-creator https://www.canva.com/create/comic-strips/

6. Try writing a story that explains some other characteristic of an animal - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zwjsyrd/revision/2 , www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpWHZJZQDSE, don't forget to talk to the reader several times within the story, using the pronoun 'you' or an endearment like 'best beloved'!

FOR GROWNUPS - STORY-ORIENTATED ESCAPISM:

1. This article by Michael Morpurgo is worth a read - https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/04/rudyard-kipling-just-so-stories-ears

2. Try this article afterwards that explores whether Kipling is a 'hopelessly outdated, a standard-bearer for a discredited part of British history, or a writer with a profound understanding for all humanity? - https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/jan/05/why-we-still-dont-know-what-to-make-of-kipling

#story #stories #storytelling #storytellingforkids #storytellingwithkids #thewildofthewords #thestoryblog #rudyardkipling #justsostories #whales #englishlessons #homeschool #homeeducation

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