***NEW*** Ole Skool Classics
Some stories are classics: “Cinderella”, “Red Riding Hood,” and “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table,” to name few. However, since the first writings of these classic stories, they have changed, and in many cases very considerably. This program shares of the “classics” – using the earliest versions, and sometimes the very newest. Take a trip way back before everything was “happily ever after”, and a trip forward into the 21st-century. Most appropriate for 3rd grade and above, and is particularly fun and engaging for middle and high schoolers.
***NEW*** Pre-School Storytelling Programs - Varied
General: Introduction to Reading Literacy
“Hats” – Occupations around us
“Kings and Queens” – Fun Stories of Royalty
“My Piano” – Music and Instruments
“That’s Shocking: Electricity” – Electricity taught briefly along with electricity safety and colors
“What Manner of Character…?” – Character Development and Importance of Manners
African-American: Keeping Heritage Alive Stories written, told or passed down through the African-American culture, with an emphasis on reading and writing. The stories cover a wide spectrum of time and include original pieces as well time-tested ones. Often songs are used through the presentation. This presentation is excellent for all ages and informative as well.
Around the World in…..STORIES
Vietnam. Malawi. Germany. Okinawa. West Virginia. California. Rhode Island. Mississippi. Ms. Sheila has traveled to various parts of the world and around the country and everywhere she goes she gathers stories. Stories from the area, and stories about the people, the culture and interesting places to visit will be shared with students. There will also be at least one story told from two different cultures and students will be asked to look at why those differences are made. This is great to kick off a geography unit and specific areas can be looked out. Grab your books, jump on board and let’s go around the world…IN STORIES.
Dr. Seuss & Creativity
Dr. Seuss was the master of using the imagination with short, succinct words. Through a variety of Dr. Seuss books and memorized pieces, young people have the chance to experience and re-experience Dr. Seuss’ creativity. For older students there are wonderful additional participative activities using the imagination, writing and creative and play acting skills. Relive Dr. Suess in a whole new way. Great for Pre-School through High School!
18th-century: Ol’ Bess speaks at a Gathering
Ol’ Bess, a tavern slave from 18th-century Williamsburg, Virginia, stops by in costume and shares about her life – joys, sorrows and hopes. She also invites folks to a slave-gathering and shares the tales of humor, lessons and dreams from her time period. Song is also included and this is very interactive. There is a Q&A session towards the end of this presentation.
Morality Tales: Character Education 101
Take a step back in time and meet Anansi, Aesop, Brer Rabbit, The Grimms Brothers, various fairy tales and personal family stories. Using older stories from a variety of cultures and time periods, timeless lessons are taught. Students are encouraged to find the morals and lessons themselves and also look for their personal life lessons. Great for 4th grade through Middle School, in particular, although the stories are for all.
African: Motherland comes Home
All stories come from Africa have a moral or theme. They are usually told with an accent and encourage active participation. Stories are great for every age.
Slightly Scary tales and sometimes slightly more
Need to scary ‘em just a little? Is it Halloween? A slumber party? Pretending you are camping or camping for real? Or just want to show the genre of horror and slightly grisly? Well, this is the program. These slightly scary tales will send chills up the spine, but then provide laughter, not bad dreams. Hear some of the tested old tales and try a few new.
General Storytelling: Tales for Everyone
A combination of stories, songs, interactive games and poetry from all of the above. A strong focus on reading and being creative. Lots of life lessons and laughter involved. Also, stories of relevancy to the geographic area, the school or cultures are made as much as possible. Stories appropriate for every age.
A Storytelling Program for parents – “Words of Excitement”
This program encourages family stories, daily story/communication time with children, fears people having in telling stories and how to overcome them, the use of picture books, poems and songs and the importance of literacy and communication between parents, guardians, grandparents and the children around them. This is a hands-on interactive workshop, which gives practical, easy-to-implement ideas to all persons involved with youth and children. Youth and children who attend will also enjoy the activities and stories. Note: This program is offered free to schools who have a storytelling program earlier in the day.
***NEW*** Ole Skool Classics
***NEW*** Fannie Lou Hamer, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”: Mary Johnson (wife of Anthony Johnson, slave, indentured servant to free Negro and landowner), 17th-century
Fannie Lou Hamer was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later became the Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in that capacity. Her plain-spoken manner and fervent belief in the Biblical righteousness of her cause gained her a reputation as an electrifying speaker and constant champion of civil rights. From her days as a sharecropper to her violent entrance into being a full-citizen in the country, her story will charge students to stand and become active in our government and the causes of those neglected and overlooked.
Mary Johnson, wife of Anthony Johnson, one of the first Negroes to arrive on these shores, who went from slave to indentured servant to free man. Mary tells the stories she has often heard from her husband about coming to Jamestown, about the bloody Middle Plantation massacre and the movement from indentured servitude in the country to slavery. It also just so happens that Mary Johnson and her husband end up settling MD's Eastern Shore in the middle 1600's.
Ol' Bess, an 18th-century tavern slave owned by Mr. Southall, owner of the Raleigh Tavern. She has a husband and 4 children and shares some of the things happening in the colony in 1774 including the dissolution of the House of Burgesses, the beginning talks of revolution and the tragedies that occurred in Boston Harbor. She also shares about her life and the ways she has learned to survive as a slave.
Oney Judge (18th-century Free Woman; Past personal maidservant to Martha Washington) Oney Judge was the personal maidservant to Martha Washington from the time George Washington was elected to attend the Continental Congress until the end of his 2nd term of presidency. Oney has the infamous reputation of being one of the ones that "ran away" from Philadelphia, PA right before the end of Pres. Washington's term as President. We meet Oney in the latter parts of her life where she talks about her life with the Washingtons, her home life and upbringing, her run for freedom, her attempt to negotiate with the first President of the United States and her new life as a Free Negro.
Betsy Costner (19th-century pre- or post-Civil War slave)
Betsy Costner is a slave who was born in North Carolina, but during the “second migration” is moved without her family to Mississippi. She either talks from a pre-Civil War view about her daily life, relationships with free Negroes and whites in Mississippi and the runaways and abolitionists she has heard about. Or, Betsy talks from a post-Civil War view about the Civil War itself and the destruction to where she was living, her search for her son, her desire to go North and this “new thing called freedom.”
Mary Peake (19th-century; African-American teacher in Hampton, VA.)
Mary Peake speaks about the difficulty in providing education in the South after the Emancipation Proclamation. She also discusses her difficulty in obtaining education in the "free" North and the pressures both external and internal in her day to day life in Hampton.
Madam C.J. Walker (post-Civil War and early 20th century, 1st Negro female millionaire)
Madam CJ Walker, who was the first AFrican-American female millionaire in the early 1900's. She was the marketer for various poplular hair care products many of which are still used today, and many of the students will relate to that. Madam CJ Walker was the first African-American black millionaires. She talks about her life, her business and its challenges and her determined fight against segregation and the need for the economic development of ALL people.
Zora Neale Hurston (20th-century Harlem Renaissance African-American author)
Learn about the Harlem Renaissance through the eyes of one who was "in the thick of things." She will also talk about her time collecting "old" stories from Negro communities and her brief time in the world of voodoo and intrigue. This author of "Of Mules and Men" and "Their Eyes Were Watching God" shares about "The New Negro" and his/her struggles of the early 20th century.
Daisy Bates (Arkansas NAACP President)
She was the backbone of the "Little Rock Nine." Hear the story of this woman determined to help integrate the Little Rock, AR schools and the severe opposition she, and the students, were subjected to. She talks about her life before becoming NAACP president, atrocities she had seen committed, her relationship with Thurgood Marshall, and the infamous 1957 - 58 year when Central High School, Little Rock, AR was to be integrated and the Federal Troops were called in by President Eisenhower.
Mary Johnson (wife of Anthony Johnson, slave, indentured servant to free Negro and landowner), 17th-century
Little One: “Showing Thanks to Jesus”
Little One is the sister of Martha and Lazarus and lives in the town of Bethany. She briefly talks about the abuse she faced while living at home. She then discusses her need for affection and her solution to finding affection and the effects that has on her sister. Things take a turn when Jesus comes to Bethany and tells her to “Come home.” She shares her transformed life and how she was able to show thanks to Jesus in her own small, special and yet memorable way. (15 minutes)
Ania: “Spreading the Good News”
Ania is the Samaritan Woman talked about in the gospel of John. She shares with us her first impressions of the “Jewish” man – Jesus. Her presentation is filled with humor and seriousness as she lays out before the audience her doubts about this man who promises her water to drink and her hopes that he might be more than just a peddler. In the end, her hopes seem to be realized and what does she do? Wait and see! (7 minutes)
Mary: “From Bitter Heart to Restored Amazement”
Mary is the mother of Jesus. She talks while looking at Jesus on the Christ. She reflects on Jesus’ young days and the ponderings in her heart. She talks about Jesus’ love for his family and the normal life he had as young adult. She then shares about the first days of Jesus’ ministry and the first miracle. However, life was not the same for her and Jesus after his ministry started. She didn’t agree with everything he was saying and in the process feels as if she loses her son, Jesus, her other children, and finally, her faith in God’s promises. In the end, it is a simple gift that a mother gives a child that brings her faith back. (14 minutes)
Deborah: “Being a Light: Purpose in the Kingdom of Heaven”
Deborah represents the “many women” who followed Jesus, but their names are not mentioned. We are not all stars, and the same is true for the great number of disciples, both men and women, that follow Jesus. Deborah tells about her and her family’s reaction to one of Jesus’ sermon, and how those words changed her family’s life and direction. She also gives us a glimpse into Jesus’ special relationship with children and what she has learned from the heart of children. (12 minutes)
Procula: “Jesus – who is this man?”
Claudia Procula is the wife of Pilate, Jesus’ final condemner. This powerful presentation asks the questions that for generations have been asked: “Who is this Jesus?” “Will his words last longer than other dead philosophers?” “What does his life mean to me?” She shares with us how her husband dealt with his decision about Jesus and sneaks us a peek into the chamber where the Jewish synagogue rulers gathered to condemn Jesus to Pilate. Finally, she shares with us the dream that prompts the words of advice to her husband. Can her questions be answered at the foot of the cross? (9 minutes)
Hadassah: “Falling away, Repentance and Forgiveness”
Hadassah is the wife of Jairus, whose daughter was raised from the dead by Jesus. She quickly becomes a zealous disciple of the Master. However, when she returns home, she finds herself under persecution from family and friends. Learn through her own words, and sometimes through a scene with 2 other women, about Hadassah’s great rise and fall as a disciple. Will she turn her life back to Jesus? (13 minutes)
Salome: “Serving in Faith”
Salome is the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John, Sons of Thunder. She follows Jesus and provides for him and the disciples out of her own means. In her presentation she shares about her life of service to the Master and her own growth in humility. Along the way, she shares about a special woman that serves Jesus. In sharing about this special woman, she also tells about how important it is to imitate those who are strong in their faith. In conclusion, she gives a charge to all brothers and sisters in Christ – are you ready to accept? (14 minutes)
From the Old Testament:
Abigail, wife of King David. She talks about her rebellious heart and anger led her to a destructive marriage. Also, how her humility and obedience led her to be the wife of a king.
Deborah, the Judge. She talks about being a leader in a man’s world. The wisdom she was gifted with and the fight she was an integral part of. A woman’s role in God can take many forms.
***NEW*** Still’s Underground Railroad
William Still, a prominent Conductor of the Pennsylvania Underground Railroad, wrote the definitive book about the lives of persons “stealing themselves” away to freedom. Some stories are familiar – Harriet Tubman, “Boxcar” Brown and Ellen Craft. However, other stories are new, compelling and shed light on family separation, education and various ways used to run away. Educators will meet William Still and participate in and learn interactive activities for some of the "familiar" runaways and hear about abolitionists. Many of the runaways discussed in William Still's book are from Virginia and stories will be shared as much as possible from the school's town, city, county or surrounding area - making the people come "home" and alive. William Still's Underground Railroad is available free online and teachers can use it for pre- and post-activities with students. Full or half day.
“Storytelling as a Technique in Teaching”
Storytelling is a proven way of improving the learning abilities of children in any course. Learn some of the techniques of storytelling along with concrete of ways of quickly applying these techniques in your classroom setting. This training session will include group interaction and practice, as well as provides a list of useful resources for the classroom. If you already tell stories, why not add to your present repertoire and assist others who may have some trepidations. 1 – 2 hours.
“Being History: Character Interpretation – a Teaching/Presentation Method”
Character Interpretation is a wonderful teaching and presentation method that is often used in museums for students and adults. Learn how to adapt this great method for a) you as a teacher to present information, and b) for your students as a presentation method. Teachers will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with a person from history. If time and location presents the opportunity, teachers will have the opportunity to become an Historical Character and practice immediately the techniques and lessons taught. 2 – 6 hours.
“Words of Excitement: Developing Passion for Literacy- and Discipline-Focused Storytelling
Feeling in a rut and routine in the classroom? Wondering how you can better integrate reading with other disciplines? This highly-charged motivational session returns and enhances your passion of storytelling through interactive activities, and will also provide quick and fast techniques and strategies you can start using immediately. Also there is frank talk about the fears and reluctance people have in telling stories and concrete ways to over come them. This program encourages the use of family and person stories, the use of picture books, poems and songs and the importance of literacy and communication between those who work with children. 1 – 3 hours
“Healing the Sting: Teaching African-American History and Slavery to Culturally Diverse Audiences”
African-American History, and particularly slavery, can be a difficult and challenging issue to discuss in the classroom. The challenges in teaching are often based on fears, mistrust, past bad experiences and lack of knowledge. This training session takes an intimate look at the way you teach African-American History, personal hints to use in the classroom (tailored to each teacher), encourages discussion about teaching techniques that work, and provides solid information about slavery in America. 1 – 2 hours.
“Using Primary Sources in Teaching History”
Primary Sources are not just documents or written items, they are also a variety of other items. Learn more about the variety of Primary Sources that are available for use in the classroom and where to find those resources. There is a presentation about useful websites available to teachers, students and parents. If there is time and available technology resources in the presentation area, teachers will also begin the process of creating a Primary Source Toolbox for their School and/or District. 1 – 3 hours.