What’s Happening in Storytelling?
Face-to-face, traditional storytelling is back. I couldn’t be happier. I have been so fortunate to return as a guest presenter to classrooms. One thing I share is multicultural awareness through world folktales and stories. The world has a rich wealth of stories.
An example I love to share is a comparative story. I tell a Selkie seal story that comes from both Ireland and Cape Town South Africa. It leads to a discussion of why it is from both places and how it might travel.
This week I told a Connecticut historical story of the Charter Oak tree. Embedded in this story is the confluence of the Indigenous People’s beliefs of the spirits within the tree and the respect the settlers of Hartford had for the tree. After the telling, we discussed the respect given to something that holds and represents freedom. The students viewed an image of a famous painting of the tree and then were given the opportunity to paint their own version of the tree. The students’ thoughts were on the story during the painting, as evidenced by the well-thought-out questions that came up during the quiet painting time.
I am preparing a Civil War storytelling performance that features a particular family. I have been invited to their family reunion as the guest performer. I am aligning members of their family history with the stories currently in my repertoire as well as looking for interesting stories in their family history. It is still a couple of months until the reunion. I am setting aside a little time now and then to continue reading and researching this project.
Where might storytelling fit into your world? There are stories for every occasion! Children, adults, teens, and mixed-age groups can all enjoy the storytelling experience. A story would fit at a wedding or business meeting to inspire a non-profit and showcase emotions. You might have a story to highlight a moment in history, an artifact, to introduce a new neighbor’s culture, to relate to a sports team, or for the sheer pleasure of entertainment.
It is always a good time to tell or hear a story, what are you waiting for?