Performance surrounds us every day and has always been a vital part of conveying narrative.   Oral Interpretation is “the art of communicating to an audience a work of literary art in its intellectual emotional and aesthetic entirety.” (Gura, 2010 Oral Interpretation) I look forward to working with you all as we explore storytelling through children’s literature to bring to life the words on a page.

This semester we will work on communication and interpretation skills by exploring storytelling cultures through a study of children’s literature and related texts that have been told and retold for generations. We will do this by tapping into our creativity through a combination of oral presentations and written work. This course is a space for experimenting with techniques of presentation and our own interpretation of the stories and performances that surround us.


By the end of this course, you will:

  • Be better understand the importance of storytelling to the development of culture.
  • Be able to consider and evaluate why some stories are told and retold.
  • Identify and analyze intertextuality and adaptation.
  • To better understand genres and historical styles and consider and evaluate a ‘canon’ of children’s literature.
  • To be able to trace the evolution of imagery and tropes in children’s literature and media and apply it to issues in children’s literature today.
  • Employ storytelling techniques in varying settings with focuses on character, language, emotion, and the overall body.
  • Perform literature in order to evoke: a) feelings behind the words, b) meanings of the literature, c) enjoyment of the total reading/listening/seeing experiences,  d) appreciation of the various means of communicating literature
  • Develop oral and written interpretations of a text supported with evidence gained through close reading, visual analysis, and performance analysis.
  • Develop a toolbox of performance techniques and exercises with which to approach presentation.