1. plastic funnel: I have fun telling a well known folktale but I make sure I just tell the barebones and nothing more. If you were teaching the writing craft of adding details, you could read the bare bones to your students. The kids aren't at all satisfied with the story and will fill in the needed details to add depth to the tail. This is when I pull out the funnel as a visual for "vague" versus "detailed." The top of the funnel represents the big idea (vague story) and as you add the details you get a refined, polished tale with images, actions, characters and their traits, along with a grabber lead, exciting plot, and an ending no one will forget.
2. fan - please see my "F" blog about fans
3. flute, wood block, spoons, ocarina - I love teaching the listeners how to use these in various stories, have them practice with the instruments, and then participate by guiding them at the right times in the telling. My inspiration is Heather Forest and her wonderful musical tales. Check out her website!
4. Yarn ball - I love this artifact when teaching tales in a small group. I begin a story holding the piece of yarn with the students sitting in a small circle. As I begin telling I gently and slowly unwind the yarn ball. As I near the end of one color, I stop telling and pass the yarn ball to another child in the circle. This next child has to continue where I left off, gently and slowly unwrapping the yarn until another color appears. This child then passes the ball of yarn to another teller who was listening quite intently to the other tellers. This continues until the story has a beginning, middle, and end. What's cool, is by the end, there's a web of yarn which I always tell the kids is our teamwork of connections made to create a story together.