When it comes to storytelling, how true is the popular adage, "Boys will be boys and girls will be girls?"
Flannista is in the middle of a fascinating book called The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall. "Boys engage in much more rough-and-tumble play; fantasy play is more frequent in girls, more sophisticated, and more focused on pretend parenting; boys are generally more aggressive and less nurturing than girls . . . (p. 39)".
About a month ago, Flann decided to test out this theory with her First Graders. She divided them into two groups -- girls and boys and then presented each group with the same problem: "A frog has lost its eyes. You need to help it. Working together as a team, you need to figure out what to do."
Following is what happened.
It took FOREVER for the girls to settle down. Several ran to a cubby hole near the classroom door and then didn't allow a couple of the girls to be part of the group. "We were here first," they said. "Stop pushing!" said another. "Miss Flann, she's cheating!" And on and on. Once I finally settled them down, this is the story they came up with -- though it took them FOREVER to choose a storyteller:
A frog lost its eyes. Just like that we found the eyes and hid the frog and his eyes in a desk so no one could find them. Then we did the frog dance.
Then the group did, in fact, do the frog dance, jumping up and down and making "ribbet, ribbet" sounds.
The boys, on the other hand, quickly settled down and sat with their arms around each other. They whispered among themselves quietly. One boy kept a keen eye on the girls. When they were finished, they voted on a storyteller who stood up and said:
Once upon a time, there was a frog that lost its eyes. We looked for the eyes and found them. We put the eyes in a plastic bag and took the frog and the eyes to the vet. The vet fixed the eyes. The frog is better now. The End.
The storyteller then bowed and was applauded by the members of his team.
What's the real story here?