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How-To Information for Storytellers

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Jackie Baldwin jackie@story-lovers.com
Kate Dudding kate@katedudding.com

State Standards in the US
These days, teachers have very little classroom time to devote to anything outside their curriculum. However, storytellers are more likely to be welcomed in the classroom when they can connect storytelling with the curriculum. Storytelling can be used in many subject areas including:

  • art
  • character building
  • English
  • history
  • mathematics
  • music
  • science

You can find information about your state's education standards at www.academicbenchmarks.com/search/. Note: you can access several pages on this site, then you need to identify yourself. As of early 2008, identifying yourself did not result in getting any email or other advertisements from this organization. *

You can find information about your state's education department at www.doe.state.in.us/htmls/states.html.

Below are some ways you can connect your storytelling with state education standards.

If you want to teach children how to be storytellers, look in your state's standards for phrases such as:

  • Students communicate with others
  • Students speak effectively
  • Oral communication

If you want to tell stories set in history, create stories relevant to the curriculums for history.

If you want to tell biographical stories, create stories about leaders in the following areas:

  • art
  • history
  • mathematics
  • music
  • science

If you want to tell folktales from particular cultures, look in your state's standards for phrases such as:

  • world cultures
  • the cultures you specialize in

Of course, many stories can be used for several purposes. For example, character building stories could also be folktales or biographies.

For more ideas you can use to connect your storytelling with state education standards, see the book The Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum by Sherry Norfolk, Jane Stenson, and Diane Williams. In this book, national standards from eight organizations (the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics, the National Academies of Science, the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework, the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, the National Education Technology Standards, and the National Association of Sport and Physical Education) are sited for each classroom project listed.

* Note: we gratefully acknowledge that Jean Armstrong included this web site as part of her workshop on Meeting Classroom Standards with Storytelling at the 2007 Sharing the Fire storytelling conference.

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Copyright 2007 by Jackie Baldwin and Kathryn Eike Dudding. All Rights Reserved.