Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Young Storytellers

Just a short note on how awesome it is to work with young storytellers.

I have been mentoring students at the university school for a semester now, and telling to several classes between 2nd and 11th grade - actually only in the second semester of this schoolyear, I have accumulated 15 hours of mentoring, and 32 hours of school storytelling. Phew! Fortunately, I did take breaks in-between.

Teaching young storytellers is new to me, but I am quickly learning that it is one of the most fun things a grown-up storyteller can spend her time with. I do one-on-one mentoring sessions since 5th and 6th graders ar busy ladies, and their schedules don't match up. These sessions are mainly spent with them telling me tales and me staring in amazamenet at how great they are without ever being "coached". One of the young ladies is quickly becoming very good at telling personal stories, and every time she comes to class she has a new story that she would like to share, already crafter into a neat little performance, with gestures, voices and all. The other young lady is the exact opposite: she enjoys telling mythology, and fills in all the gaps from her own imaginations. Her stories are full of vivid descriptions, colors, personalities and feelings, smells, tastes, and small details that make everything make a lot more sense than in the original tale (Theseus forgetting Ariadne? Clearly he was just not that into her. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, after all) (King Minos was melodramatic, and had servants for ridiculous things) (and the Minotaur smelled like rust).

Every child is born with the natural ability of telling stories. And then there are some who just simply cannot NOT tell. All the time. To everyone. While climbing on chairs and running around the table. The table is supposed to be Athens, by the way.


  1. Met one your private students today. She seems great! I decided not to tell her how much you brag about her for fear it would make her nervous. You need to get them telling somewhere!

  2. That's cool. Hopefully, there will always be good story tellers passing things on to the new generations. With the advent of social media, I am afraid that many youths are more concerned with being popular than they are with anything pertaining to studies. I am a teacher by the way, so I see this a lot.

  3. From my own post today:

    Most children you can encourage into safety - call it the "Z" spot if you will, where they feel safe, imaginative and creatively expressive.

    They all have stories - good for you to help guide them into the telling!

  4. I used to teach first grade and they were wonderful story tellers. Kept me smiling all day long.

    Congratulations on finishing the A to Z challenge!

  5. Children are wonderful. I discovered in this semester how much I like teaching storytelling to them! Before that, I only had experiences with high school students, equally amazing :)