Prepare For The MCAS in a creative and stimulating way!

Sharon offers residencies and mini-residencies in MCAS-related topics such as Compare and Contrast for 3rd and 4th graders; Story Elements (magic helpers, three wishes etc) and stylistic elements in myths and traditional narratives for 5th graders; rhymes, chants, retelling a story, beginnings, middles, and ends, identifying foreshowing clues, predicting endings, and identifying themes for K-3.

For K-3 she uses simple stories such as "The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Krauss and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" as well as folktales such as "The Turtle who Wanted To Fly." Children re-tell the stories, identify main ideas and themes, and cause and effect. They work on sequencing and they make predictions. Then they create their own stories based on three themes found in a folktale such as, "The Turtle Who Wanted to Fly" or "Abiyoyo."

For 3rd graders Sharon uses a storytelling game for Standard 12 which involves problems, solutions, characters, and settings. For standard 16 she teaches the structure of myths and folktales by having children analyze exisitng stories and then having them write their own.

For 3rd-5th graders Sharon teaches about themes and about compare and contrast with folktales. For example, she performs the Irish story, "Kevin McCullough's Supper" and has children compare it to the Appalachian story, "Tailypo." Children taking her workshops from Cambridge to Worcester have been able to identify as many as 12 similarities and 12 differences in those two stories and in other compared folktales from Haiti, Africa, Nepal, Portugal, and Russia.

Fifth graders working with Sharon on Standard 16: Myth, Traditional Narrative, and Classical Literature do this same kind of comparing and contrasting. They also identify story elements ("folk motifs") and the stylistic elements (refrains, similes, hyperbole). Then they create their own stories filled with magical helpers, events happening in threes, tricksters, impossible tasks, transformations, refrains, similes, and so forth. Some of the stories they write are extraordinary.

Other MCAS-related storytelling programs on this website are: "Susannah Winslow of Plimoth Plantation, 1653" for 3rd and 5th graders and "Mary Margaret O'Connell, Lowell Mill Girl" for 3rd and 4th.

Sharon has a M. Ed. in Reading from Salem State College. Before becoming a storyteller she taught Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades, and Reading. Currently she teaches in undergraduate and graduate education programs at Salem State, Lesley, and Tufts Universities.