Students at Prevail Academy experienced history coming to life recently, during a visit from the Detroit Historical Museum’s StoryLiving program. During the interactive program, a professional storyteller shared Detroit’s history with the school’s students using drama, group pantomime, role-playing, songs, and creative problem-solving.
“I wanted students to build a connection between spoken and written words,” said Lindsey Glazer, reading specialist at Prevail Academy. “I also wanted to help students develop a stronger vocabulary. Young children, especially, acquire language primarily through listening.”
The storyteller presented to Prevail’s kindergarten- through second-grade students and the third- through fifth-grade students in two separate performances. The K-2 students learned about Detroit's Great Fire of 1805, and 3-5 students learned about the Underground Railroad.
“With television and internet taking over as children's source of entertainment, storytelling is a nice change of pace,” said Glazer. “Since storytelling unfolds slower than TV or movies, it forces students to focus and concentrate and make connections as they watch and listen.”
The visit was fitting for students, many of which have connections and family members in Detroit. The program provided students a sense of connection to the city, a neighboring city to the school.
Pictures from the program highlight students acting out the role of firefighters in the Detroit fire and experiencing the escape through Detroit in the Underground Railroad. The group photo focuses on students playing instruments to traditional songs sung on the Underground Railroad. The presenter, Madelyn Porter, is shown depicting a runaway slave in the center of the group.