Kamishibai for Kids

BY Patrice Michael

Stony Brook Elementary


Goals, objectives, and activities

Students will be exposed to diverse cultural enrichment through the art of the oral storytelling tradition called Kamishibai which is a Japanese mode of storytelling. Kamishibai uses an interesting medium that combines reading, writing, drawing, and performance.  Our planet is chock full of beautiful art, interesting literature, and dynamic music which can be drawn from to create wonderful kamishibai stories or paper theater.

Students will observe a Kamishibai presentation called “Mother Cat”.  The story will be told as the presenter is pulling pictures through a Kamishibai stage. These sequential cards with colorful illustrations encourage the narrative.  Students will be given the opportunity and materials to develop their own Kamishibai stories.

Kamishibai will engage children in learning as much as possible about the world while exploring their own potential as storytellers.

Kamishibai story creation and performance is an engaging teaching tool for students from pre-k through eighth grade and beyond.

The objective is to engage students in reading, writing, drawing and performing to build up literacy skills as well as their confidence by tapping into their unique learning styles.


kamishibai 811rPW4IWGL

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

The success of the project will be measured by the excitement of the students in the process of creation and in the quality of the product (students’ original stories and drawings depicting their stories and performance – their storytelling).

Students will be evaluated on their research and creativity as well as their ability to tell a story through writing and pictures.  Success of the program will reflect in student excitement and engagement.


Benefit to the students and the school

Kamishibai is a hands-on approach for developing narratives through multiple literacies in a way that will appeal to even the most reluctant learners. It provides a unique bridge to the reading and writing process, while also building confidence and a sense of community through interactive performance before a live audience.

Budget (Please detail how funding will be used. Itemize as appropriate.)

Kamishibai Stage $175

5 Kmaishibai Stories $150

1 Hyoshigi (wooden clapper) $36

2 Books (The Kamishibai Classroom, Manga Kamishibai) $56

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable.)

I would like to start the project in December 2014 and present the performances at a literacy night for students, parents and community in March 2015.