Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk is my favorite fairy tale.  Although I am a huge fan of Porky and should gravitate towards The Three Little Pigs, Jack holds a special place in me wee heart.

Our kindergarten children have been studying fairy tales (elements such as Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After), good and bad characters (Is Jack really good? Is the giant so bad? Arguments can be made for and against both perspectives), and the conflict/resolution dynamic.

Fairy tales capture our collective imaginations. The rich, diverse takes on these timeless stories only enhance our involvement.  Children's book illustrators such as Steven Kellogg, James Marshall and Paul O. Zelinsky have entertained our wide-eyed, excitable students time and time again.

We are also blessed with a handful of wonderful storytellers at our school who all said "yes" when we asked them to come and tell our students their favorite fairytale in American Sign Language.  Last year I posted Whitney's retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Now I would like to share Doug's retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. The video is without sound but since the story is probably very familiar I invite  you to view it and see if you can follow the story.  You might even learn a few signs.


37paddington said...

Sign language is a beautiful dance.

I so enjoyed the story.

Mickle in NZ said...

Loved the Giant's foot steps. This reminded me how much I have forgotten of the story!

While I don't know NZSL, I can see that ASL is very different - have seen recent translations to NZSL we've had here on TV news at the various news conferences due to all the Christchurch earthquakes.

Doug was just ideal to tell the children this tale!

Barbara said...

A great story and a great storyteller! You are so lucky to be able to bring people like this into your classroom. Some stories are timeless, yes?

Tess Kincaid said...

Doug is a delightful story teller. He signs clearly and is so easy to understand. I realized my sign language is still there, btw!

Pauline said...

My poetry mentor for my masters degree was Ron Koertge. Here's his latest - thought you might get a chuckle out of it...

Dumdad said...

I loved Jack and the Beanstalk when I first heard it as a kid and the magic lingers on.

Mr. Halpern said...

Gary, I found your blog from a comment you left on the teaching tolerance website. I'm also a kindergarten teacher passionate about teaching and literacy. I'd be curious to find out more about your Phd. Program and your class. I try to use lots of sign language in my classroom, but I'm a novice for sure.


Gary said...

Well, the final day of school was yesterday and the last 10 days have kicked my butt! I am hoping to pull myself together in the next few days so I can get to the true task of doing nothing properly.

Angella - Sign Language, when it is done like this, truly is beautiful. Doug is Lauren's husband and her signing is simply exquisite. What a couple.

Mickle - The giant's footsteps are fantastic! I love how Doug showed the movement in different ways. ASL is very different from NZSL and it has been my experience that most people don't realize that sign language is different across the world.

Barbara - Hey traveler! You probably won't be back to check this out for a bit but hope you are enjoying your trip.

Tess - Sign never goes away but it does get rusty. I'd love to have you visit my class when you are in NY. That would be a real workout.

Pauline - Thanks for the link. My heart breaks for the ogre's wife.

Dumdad - The magic does linger on. Long may she wave!

Matt - I took a visit to your blog as well and struck by how similiar our interests and professional lives seem to be! Except you manage to post everyday and your blog is much more popular. Thanks so much for dropping by FYB.


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