* Guelph GoGo Grandmothers Griots (5Gs)

Griots in school



Why Frog Has No Tail - Ks thank you#2

March 1, 2017
 . . . I wish to thank you and all the Go-Go Grandmas for the mesmerizing African drumming presentation and puppet play.
The feedback I got from the teachers involved was very heartfelt and positive.  I was told that our students were absolutely enthralled.
I am hoping to start a unit now on making hand puppets.
Thank you for sharing your music and stories with us and also your precious time.
Yours in Education,
A. L.

 griots2Twice a month, from January to June, the Griots, a troupe of Guelph GoGo Grandmothers (4Gs),  can be booked to visit a public school to present a story:  Zomo the Rabbit  to primary classes or a new story, Why Frog Has no Tail,  to juniors.


(Click here to see Griots preparing for Why Frogs Have No Tail - [or scroll down].)
Each story is interactive and each ends with a  discussion of a deep question of life.  Each visit offers the opportunity to facilitate an exploration of African instuments and puppets.

Frog cast @June mtng 2017THE CAST June 2017

For a troupe booking, 2nd Wednesday or the last Thursday of each month,  during the middle time block between the two nutrition breaks. 
Book requests here.

COMING after Nov 13 planning meeting:
GRIOTS SCHOOL YEAR Schedule 2017 - 18

Griots starting school visits in January 2018

 NOTE:  If you wish to book a storytelling in the fall or are unable to book in 2018 , arrangements can also be made to book longtime storyteller Sya, who, along with other 4Gs volunteers, is delighted to make arrangements for bookings. Click here for information and booking.

NOTE Each telling is free. (Sometimes an honourarium is donated, which goes immediately to the African Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.)

"The Guelph GoGo Granmothers Griots?" (5Gs)

"Griots" are African storytellers and "Gogo" is the Zulu word for "grandmother". A group of Guelph GoGo Grandmothers (4Gs) melded the two terms to call ourselves, "Guelph GoGo Grandmothers Griots (5Gs)".
Zomo by Griots

We are inspired by the rich tradition of Griots in African culture and we strive to do it honour.

Our objective is to learn the beauty and wonder of selected African stories and visit schools to share them  with children and youth in a fun, interactive way.  (We have been granted official clearance to visit Upper Grand Public schools. ) 


The books and stories are selected for their fine quality. See the selection.  - African stories

Educational themes and benefits:

griots6> Share with children wonderful African stories.

  • > Reinforce curriculum strand of oral communication - model language shaped for the ear, engage children in Q & A.
  • > Interactive, audience participation - engage children in deep thinking and discussion.
  • > Support curriculum themes -  community, global village, anti-bullying, social justice, care of the earth, respect, responsibility,  . . . .





ne 24, 2016 at Priory Park Public School
k you again!
June 24, 2016 at Priory Park Public School
"Thank you so much for the magical performance. The feedback from the kids and staff was fantastic. We love the mix of puppets, live music, and storytelling.
We are now huge fans!  Love to have you back in my class next year.
Thank you again!

In 2016, the 4Gs Griots were featured on #GuelphLife, the Rogers TV's bi-weekly current affairs program that highlights city's stories, events and people.
 With the school's and parents' permission, we were delighted to welcome Jan Hamilton, director with Rogers TV, to capture the Griots presentation of Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Afica by Gerald McDermott to primary classes at Priory Park on June 24th, 2016. Jan interspersed one-on-one interviews, where members described the work of 4Gs and the focus on one of its three objectives, that is to educate, and by extension, share the beautry of African culture with children.  


The Griots of West Africa – much more than story-tellers"

Traditionally, "griots" were a social caste, dedicated to preserving the memory of society.  “Without us, the names of kings would be forgotten, we are the memory of humankind. By the spoken word, we give life to the facts and actions of kings in front of the young generation”, said griot Mamadou Kouyaté. ("Word of Mouth") Even today, there are griots in African villages, who continue to tell tales shaped by important traditions and new realities. They have much to say to us.

The storytellers told many stories - stories about the many gods and goddesses worshiped by early people, stories that explored the great mysteries of life. They told tales of war and battle and heroes and leaders and kings. Stories were often accompanied with music and dancing and song. When there was no written language, stories kept history and family memories alive, stories explored the eternal verities of community, justice, love, sharing,  . . ., stories entertained and taught.  Many of these stories are fun and entertaining and continue to challenge us with powerful lessons and truths that speak to us today .












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Workbee to create masks and tails for the six characters in Why Frog Has No Tail
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