Marni Gillard    Storyteller, Storyteacher
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About Storytelling




Picture of Marni Gillard Below is the outline of sample in-service course, appropriate for K-12 teachers, librarians, social studies teachers, special education teachers, and anyone else interested in the art of storytelling

This is designed as a seven session in-service at which teachers will:

  • hear about how storytelling connects to writing and reading theory
  • share personal experience stories and learn how to shape a text orally
  • write the story and see how it changes from an oral to a written text
  • discuss how revision can be taught through the use of storytelling
  • experience first hand the connection between storytelling and confidence
  • recall favorite stories that would make good tellings
  • find/rehearse a folktale, myth, tall tale, fairytale, or literary work for telling
  • learn principles for coaching young storytellers in a positive way
  • learn why students who struggle with literacy often find their way into it through storytelling
  • have fun learning about a "new" approach to reading and writing

Session 1

Introduction of storytelling in general including the differences between a personal tale and book tale for telling.

With a partner(s) discuss:

  1. What you already know about storytelling
  2. What questions/hopes and expectations are you bringing to this year's in-service
  3. Your personal goals in taking the course
Marni will introduce the requirements:
  • weekly end-of-class metacognitive response time
  • weekly "storytelling reflection" for homework which we will share briefly at the beginning of each class (if time permits)

Lifeline activity

Sharing Aloud

Browsing of storytelling resources

Metacognition time

Please note that the class 2-7 will vary in order to meet YOUR needs and interests in connection to storytelling. There are MANY ways to approach this art form (not to mention use our time together). I want to help you get the support and encouragement to make the course and storytelling itself something valuable for you.

Session 2

More work with personal tales. Discussion of insights on personal tales since last week's class. The importance of listening and how to encourage it. How to listen well. How to teach it. Listening as an aspect of coaching In pairs, tell of a time when being listened to (or not) made a difference.

Story sharing.

Metacognition time

Session 3

How to find the "right" story. How to help students find a story or edit one for telling. I encourage teachers to think of the importance of student choice and decision-making about how to "stage" a story. Discovering your own well of stories.

Quilt Square activity related to the stories of your life.

Sharing and metacognition time

Session 4

Rehearsals of stories and process-style feedback. Discussion about finding, learning, adapting tales and coaching storytellers.

Group improvisational storytelling activity with folktale supplied by teacher or chosen by group.

Metacognition time

Session 5

Poemtelling demonstration and discussion of the value of telling vs. reciting poems

Time for browsing, reading and telling poem(s)aloud

Metacognition time

Session 6

Rehearsing our tales, sharing concerns about our ongoing storytelling units with students, looking at ways to rehearse besides telling from beginning to end. More on coaching.


Session 7

"Final" tellings to the group and gathering of insights. The size of the class will determine how to establish performances. Closure, evaluation, future plans.....
If you need any additional information, please feel free to contact Marni. Picture of Marni Gillard
Marni Gillard

833 Parkside Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12309 USA
(518) 381-9474
All Materials Copyright 2004-2018 by Marni Gillard.
All Rights Reserved.

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