In 1985, with the encouragement of Lucy Calkins and after that with the
cheerleading of David Dillon, editor of Language Arts, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), I began to explore
my teaching and the art of storytelling through writing for publication.
I highly recommend writing and publishing as a tool for learning. So many
teachers and tellers are learning important truths through their everyday
work in classrooms and communities. When we share our ideas in print, we all
Some of my early works were written under my married name, Marni Schwartz.
Since the publication of my book
Storyteller, Storyteacher in 1996, I've
returned to using my given name, Gillard, as my professional name.
I list the articles below by date starting with earlier articles. Copies of
the following are available by mail for $3.00.
- "Storytelling: A Way to Challenge Stereotypes," English Journal, Mar. 1985
by Marni Schwartz.
- This article tells the story of watching my students see
me, their teacher, turn into a storyteller, noting that they can hear her
feminist thinking more easily through a tale than a lecture.
- "Finding Myself in My Stories" by Marni Schwartz, Language Arts, November,
- In this article I share how I discovered that I've been storytelling all my
life. I describe attending two intensive workshops on storytelling and what I
learned from them as well as from introducing my students to the art of
- "Writing About What You Know," In Transition: The Journal of the New York
State Middle School Association, Fall 1985.
- This shows how I helped students
find topics for telling and writing within themselves.
- "Connecting To Language Through Story" Marni Schwartz, Language Arts,
- In this article I share how my students have shown me that
even struggling students connect to literacy activities by being allowed to
walk through the storytelling door.
- "Trying To" and "Let Their Voices Be Heard," by Marni Schwartz in Reflections
By Teachers Who Write, NYS English Council Monograph 1987.
- This anthology was the first book I was published in and it was a thrill. I
wrote about solving the problems of changing my class to a workshop vs. an
assignment-driven format. Teachers from all over New York were finding their
voices and editor Charles Chew caught the best of them. It's a treasure!
- "Storytelling - A Way to Look Deeper" Marni Schwartz, English Journal,
- I describe how I got to know my middle school students better
by listening to the stories they chose to tell. Students reveal themselves
through the metaphors in tales.
- Letter to the Editor, Language Arts, Nov. 1988. Marni Schwartz
- One June night on the front porch as the fireflies began to emerge, I wrote
out the joy (and frustration) of teaching middleschoolers to write poetry in
a freehand letter to my friend David Dillon. I included two of my favorite
student poems and he went and published the letter in the front of the
Language Arts. I guess he recognized that the letter came from the heart of a
teacher and he wanted others to share it. That man had an awful lot to do
with my gaining the courage to call myself "Writer."
- "Storytelling-In High School? Honestly." by Marni Schwartz in Vital Signs a
collection of teacher articles ed. by Jim Collins (Boyton/Cook Heinemann)
- A discussion of how students become more reflective about their experience
through storytelling and how to invite older students to see that by stepping
into literature through storytelling, they can come to understand the world a
- "Sharing the Job of Evaluation," Language Arts, April 1989. Marni Schwartz
and Kathy Oboyski Butler
- Kathy and I turned two conversations into an article. She a first grade
teacher (FGT) and me a sixth grade teacher (SGT) share our thoughts aloud
about how children teach us when we give them the time to be self-evaluators.
- "Alive, Alive Oh" by Marni Schwartz, Language Arts, Nov.1989.
- This is
actually a story woven with the folksong "Molly Malone" in which I describe
visiting "Dublin's fair city" with my mom and siblings, seeing the "ghost" of
Molly Malone and realizing all the song and my parents have taught me over
the years about teaching, listening and telling.
- "Beating Burnout: How to Keep the Fire Alive," Marni Schwartz Learning'90,
- This article, my first in a "slick" magazine tells the tale of finding a path
for ongoing my learning as a teacher and teller.
- "The Silences Between the Leaves" Marni Schwartz in Workshop III: Beyond the
Basal, an anthology of articles by teachers edited by Nancie Atwell,
- In this article I tell the story of my history with a poem
"The Mountain Whippoorwill" by Stephen Vincent Benet. I learned the poem as
part of a choral reading with Mr. Bill Quirk in the ninth grade. By reciting
the poem with my own students and then taking it into my storytelling
repertoire, I found deeper meanings year after year. I also found that I'd
been telling a cut "basal" version of the text, censored for my high school
- "The Journey of One Young Storyteller" in Give a Listen: Stories of
Storytelling In School, edited by Ann Trousdale, Sue Woestehoff, and Marni
Schwartz, 1994 (NCTE, Urbana, IL).
- In this article I share the tale of Sally, a struggling student in my
classroom whose self-esteem was lifted from low to high because of a
character named Brer Rabbit. Sally had loved Brer Rabbit tales her whole life
and once she found he could accompany her to English class, things started
lookin' up. I discuss in detail how the use of an ongoing learning log gave
me a window into Sally's language and her friendship with Brer Rabbit.
- "Storytelling - A Journey into the Woods," The Language and Literacy
Spectrum, The Journal of the NYS Reading Association, Spring 1994.
- I speak here about how I've discovered both through telling and listening
that stories will take us into our dark places. They will also help to bring
us back the wiser, no small notion to bring into a classroom.
- "Holding Martin's Hand - Connecting to History Through Storytelling," in
If This is Social Studies, Why Isn't It Boring?, Stenhouse 1994.
- I loved writing this article, tracing my and my students' newfound friendship
with an American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- "Building A Classroom Community Through Storytelling" by Marni Schwartz,
Storytelling Magazine, the Journal of The National Storytelling Association,
Jonesborough, TN 37659, July 94.
- In this article I share how-to tips and why-to concepts on the use of
storytelling to help young people know and care about each other despite
cliques and differences in a middle school classroom.
- "Leaving Teaching - Spreading My Wings" by Marni Gillard in Teacher
Reasearch: The Journal of Classroom Inquiry Vol. 3 Number 2, Spring 1996
(University of Maine).
- I trace here the emotional ups and downs of the
journey of a performing artist who takes instead the path into classroom
teaching, and then dares to step away (fly free) into storytelling as a
- "Slapping Gary With the Hand of My Ancestors" by Marni Gillard in Oops: What
We Learn When Our Teaching Fails, ed. R. Hubbard, B. Powers, Stenhouse 1996.
- In this book about teacher mistakes, I tell the story of striking the face of
an eighth grade boy when I "lost it" over his resistance to doing any work.
It was my second year of teaching. He slugged me back and I learned a lot
about what and how an action teaches the kids and the teacher that day.
- "Storytelling: A Many-Faceted Gem" Marni Gillard in The NYS English Council
News, spring 1996
- I talk in this piece about the how I've learned to coach, not criticize the
"texts" of young storytellers by being coached myself.
- "Honoring and Teaching the Telling of Personal Tales" L.A.N.E.S. Museletter
- I share tales of my work and students' work on finding the
important tales we want to tell and need to shape.
- "Drawing Out Teens' Personal Tales" by Marni Gillard in HEARSAY: The
Connecticut Storytelling Center Newsletter, June 1997 Pub. by the Center at
Connecticut College in New London.
- Strategies for and tales about helping young people find the stories in
If you need any additional information, please feel free to contact Marni.
833 Parkside Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12309 USA
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