History... In Person

A World of Folklore

Keynotes & Workshops

Books & Downloads

His-story and Her-story, too! Storytelling as a Tool in Historical Interpretation

Learn to tell historical stories and collect family stories. Learn how to write good questions, prepare for and conduct oral history interviews to research local history, with an emphasis on people often left out of the history books. Learn library research skills and how to read between the lines. Learn how to turn "field notes" into dynamic literature. And learn to perform, share, or otherwise publish this work.

 

Stepping Into Character: Presenting First Person Interpretations

The stories of real people allow you to travel to distant times and places. Meet important characters from the worlds of science, literature and history, step into their shoes and learn to embody their story. The goal of this workshop is to help you bring to life the characters you connect with and tell their stories in a powerful performance. We will discuss research, choosing characters that fit, developing scripts, creating costumes, rehearsal, marketing and the performance skills you need to ensure success.

 

A World Full of Stories: Storytelling and Multicultural Education

In this participatory workshop you will learn to use stories to build cultural awareness and teach alternatives to violence. Learn how to use stories to introduce cooperative games that help your students to develop an appreciation for cultural diversity.

 

PRAIRIE TALES
Explore the Relationships between Natural History and Human History through the Literature of the Tall Grass Prairie: An Inter-Disciplinary workshop that blends social studies, language arts and science to celebrate the Prairie State

American Indian folklore and pioneer history blend in this celebration of one of America's most diverse and magnificent ecosystems. In this participatory workshop we will learn creative writing strategies that integrate the curriculum in meaningful, inspiring lesson plans. Blending math and field ecology we will create poetry that explores the adventures of a seed, journeys through the four seasons with the plants and animals that call the prairie home. Trace the geological history of the oak savanna through the travels of "Rusty", a molecule of ferrous oxide. Learn of the struggles and successes to restore the prairie to America's heartland and motivate your students to write dynamic historical fiction, while making a difference in the future of our ecological well-being!

 

STORYTELLING, MULTICULTURALISM, AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Conflict is an inevitable part of life and a crucial element in a good story. In this participatory workshop you will learn to use folktales to build cultural awareness and teach alternatives to violence. Learn to tell a tale and how to use stories to introduce cooperative games and activities that will help your students to solve problems creatively.

The following keynote address was originally developed for an Amnesty International Conference and then later adapted for the Great Lakes Conference of Social Studies. It could easily be custom tailored to fit your needs:

 

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

From ancient Japan to early America, there have always been individuals who dared to confront violence with the truth of their lives. The audience will visit the German prison camps of World War II and the jungles of Central America. They will sing the songs of the Underground Railroad and celebrate the freedom that one finds inside oneself. Listeners will hear true tales and learn from these historic struggles. Within the context of these stories we will learn problem-solving strategies as we participate with the main character in conflict resolution. We will meet inspiring roll models and learn the skills we need to confront the crises that are a necessary step towards personal growth.

 

FOLKLORE AND ECOLOGY IN THE DIVERSITY OF NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURES:

Social Studies and Native American Storytelling In 1491 there were more than two hundred distinct cultures here in North America with cities larger than London, temples larger than the pyramids of Egypt, and a calendar more accurate than the Greco-Roman. Within this diversity stories were a unifying force. In this workshop, you will hear stories from several of the major tribal groups. You will learn some basic storytelling skills including cultural differences in style and content. We will discuss ways in which stories can highlight the differences and similarities between cultures and their relationship with the environment. Cooperative lesson plans for integrating language arts, science, and social studies will be shared. We will play traditional games, learn a craft, and perform a few dances. This is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of American Indian folkways and the ways in which they have impacted modern American culture. A bibliography and handouts for students will be included.

 

Turtle Island Tales: Mythology and Geography

Ancient creation myths and modern map making merge in this hands-on exploration of geography. Maps do tell tales and many cultures around the world have a complex understanding of earth wisdom. In this participatory workshop we will hear stories from many cultures, study maps and storytelling, and write our own myths of modern cartography.

HISTORY... In Person

Invite history's greatest minds to your school or conference, Chautauqua or museum.

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