Category: Literacy

Jim May – Storytelling in Classrooms and Schools

Jim May speaking on storytelling
Press Play to hear Jim May speaking on storytelling on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Press Play to hear Jim May speaking on storytelling on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.

Jim May Writes…
I tell stories to children because I learned many years ago that nothing in my ten years of experience as a classroom teacher held my elementary student’s attention like a story.

For some twenty-three years now, I have made my living as a professional, full time storyteller. That storytelling produces a singular, intensely vital experience in my listener’s imagination continues to be reinforced nearly every day of my professional storytelling life.

I remember a particular occasion telling stories
to an auditorium full of primary-aged students (grades k-2). After the program was finished, the students filed past the front of the Read more »

Mary Jo Huff – Early Literacy Begins with Rhythm Rhyme & Story Time.

Storyteller Mary Jo Huff with her puppet during a performance.

Interview #058 Mary Jo Huff
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Early Literacy begins with rhythm rhyme & story time.

Mary Jo writes…
Language is critical for literacy development and storytelling
creates an interactive bridge. Music, repeated phrases, and actions provide connections and invite participation by children when they become part of the storytelling event.

Working in schools demands that the storyteller is tuned into the state literacy standards. Storytelling connects many types of standards but I am only concentrating on the literacy connection. A good story challenges a child’s auditory, visual, and kinesthetic skills along with a phonemic awareness.

Performing in schools as a storyteller gives a teller the opportunity to address some Read more »

Storytelling in Schools with Jackie Baldwin and Kate Dudding

Kate Dudding and Jackie Baldwin talk about Storytelling in Schools

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Interview #049
Jackie Baldwin & Kate Dudding
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Storytelling in Schools a reference guide to educational programs.

(from Storytelling Magazine) – Quantitative Studies * Innovative Projects
by Jackie Baldwin and Kate Dudding
First, we must confess a strong bias. We believe that storytelling belongs in every school around the world, and we want to encourage and support that goal. Here’s how we went about it with our project, Storytelling in Schools.

As pressures build in schools for national testing, reporting and accountability, many people feel storytelling can be eliminated in schools. However, we knew that there were many quantitative studies documenting the methods and effectiveness of using stories and storytelling techniques in traditional classrooms to help teach the standard curriculum. But these studies were not Read more »

Dianne Las Casas – Storytelling: A Safari into Literacy

Diannede Las Casas Storyteller

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Interview #043
Dianne de Las Casas
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Storytelling: A Safari into Literacy.

Dianne de Las Casas writes…
My whole life has been a safari (Swahili word for “journey”) of stories. The power of stories permeated and impacted my life so strongly that, at an early age, I knew I wanted to share stories with the world. It became my life’s dream, which I am realizing today through storytelling and writing books.

Because books, reading, and telling stories are
such an important part of my family’s life, I am always saddened to watch the declining literacy rate in America’s school children. Nearly 2/3 of elementary age children read 2 grade levels below their expected reading level. Why is this happening?

Many of today’s families are not “storied” families. Stories are not
a daily part of life they are not shared at the “campfire” – the dinner table (many families don’t even eat at the dinner table together anymore). There are a vast amount of children who do not have a basic foundation of nursery rhymes and folktales. Imagine my surprise when I learned that my 6 year old niece never heard of Rapunzel because Rapunzel wasn’t a “Disney Princess!”

In addition, few teachers have time to spend
doing something “fun” like storytelling. There are standards and benchmarks to meet as well as tests to administer. Many educators do not understand the value of storytelling and how storytelling is an integral part of literacy in the home and the classroom.

Of course, pop culture also plays a role. Stories are pre-fabricated for our children in the form of television shows, movies, and computer and video games, leaving little room for Read more »

Stephen Hollen – Improvisational storytelling with children.

Stephen Hollen talks about improvisational storytelling with children.

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Interview #008 Stephen Hollen
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Improvisational storytelling with children; Creativity and Children.

Stephen Hollen writes….
Improvisational storytelling is a teaching tool that is a cross between storytelling that I have been doing for years and improv techniques I learned in my college days. Instead of aiming at oral tradition, it goes into the creative writing classroom to put “meat” on the three “Ps” – Person, Place and Problem plus one “P” of my own – Props.

By using these 4 “Ps” I help children in 3rd-5th grade unlock their creativity and develop the basics of Read more »

Jim Flanagan – Storytelling and Writing are Intertwined.

Jim Flanagan demonstrating that art happans to the best storytellers

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Interview #007 Jim Flanagan
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Teaching writing to children with storytelling and working with state benchmarks.

Jim Flanagan writes…
To tell a story, you must write it down.
Before you tell it, you must have a point of reference, an outline, and hen scratching a script.

After you tell the story, you refine, and you refine your written story too.

Writing a story leads the teller to be able to see if the tale flows, if it makes sense,

The writing defines the beginning, middle and end. You look at the words and play with the vocabulary and the phrases. You see where in the story, you will have to add emphasis. (You might even insert the directions to change your voice)

I would suggest you read it to someone, they act it out. This acting helps you see what you left out or the jumps in the story.

You tell the story and see how it relates to the written tale. If you revise or change a part put that into the written story. Read more »

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