How do I convince my principal that we're not just having fun?


(or parents, or fellow teachers, or anyone who asks)

I can hear them now. "You don't have time for storytelling! You have to teach math and science and reading and social studies. You have to prepare for THE TEST. There is no time to just have FUN!"

So, here are some arguments and justifications to help you cut to the chase:

(Yes, I did begin with that same sentence. But it bears repeating!)

And one more:

Storytelling IS FUN!!! Having fun doesn't negate learning!




Dianne's school programs and residencies support the North Carolina Standard Course of Studies, the South Carolina Curriculum Standards, Tennessee Curriculum Standards, and the Virginia Standards of Learning. Aware of the time teachers need to teach the required standards, she endeavors to help in every way possible while in their classrooms.

"Her programs do not add more to the teacher's burden, rather, they alleviate some of the teacher's work!"

"I have found storytelling to be an art form that is easily adapted to meet various curriculum goals."

"Dianne's programs support learning of the Language Arts/English, Social Studies, and History standards, as well as Science, Math and possibly other requested subjects."

"Ask to see her compilation of the supported standards (PK - 12), programs that support these standards, and her method of assessing the student's learning."

"If the goal you want covered is not listed, ask - Dianne does amazing work with curriculum standards and storytelling. Just what is needed in your classrooms!"


Multiple Intelligences and Storytelling

Howard Gardner, in his book Frames of Mind, re-defined intelligence recognizing that there was not only one level of intelligence but a number of areas of intelligence, and that some students depend on some intelligences more than others.

Listed below are the eight intelligences defined by Gardner, their general descriptions, and how they can relate to storytelling.

The Eight Intelligences
General Descriptions
Relating to Storytelling (adapted from Derek Burrows)
Using words well, writing, speaking

Re-tell & rewrite the story using own words. Think of words that best describe character & setting

Using or working with numbers & patterns, calculating, computing, & classifying

Look at rhythmic pattern, repeated words, sequences, re-occurring themes

An eye & sensitivity to shapes & colors, ability to see world in 3-D_

Draw the sequence of the story as you remember it

Bodily - Kinesthetic
Ability to understand the world through the body

Use movements & gestures instead of words to tell parts of the story. Act out the story without words.

Ability to know & understand the world through sound Sensitive to rhythm, melody, pitch

Find sound patterns in the story. Add rhythms to enhance the action & words. Do sound effects for the story. Tell the story in rap or rhyme

Ability to learn with another. Aware of other’s feelings and moods from their actions

Discuss how people in the story feel about the events of the story. Why did the characters act as they did?

Knowledge of self. Aware of own strength & weakness

How do the conflicts & events in the story reflect your life? What parts relate how you feel?

Understanding the physical world & the environment

Tell stories of how things in nature might have come to be

Asking the Big Questions

Creating stories based on questions about the world and events around you



Storytelling Rubric


Poise and Posture • Stands in front of class
• Stands straight when reminded
• Quits if makes a mistake
• Tells even though nervous
• Corrects self if not standing straight
• Displays no tension
• Stands straight
• Recovers easily from mistakes
• Relaxed, self-confident, enjoying
• Tells story with enthusiasm
• Covers any mistakes so unknown to audience
Eye Contact • Only when reminded to look at audience • Looks at some of the audience • Maintains consistent contact with all audience • Holds attention of entire audience with direct contact
Volume • Heard in front by some of audience • Heard by most of the audience most of the time • Heard by all audience
• Uses soft and loud to accent telling
• Heard by all audience easily all the time
Voice and Delivery • Mostly monotone voice, Mumbles • Some inflection, some difficulty being heard and understood • Use of fluid speech and inflection, clear voice • Use of precise, fluid speech and inflection, maintains the interest of the audience
Facial Expression • Very little • Shows some expression • Uses to help convey words without seeming forced • Uses to show emotions and moods and generates strong audience enthusiasm
Body Language • Exhibits nervousness • Uses some movement and gestures, some nervousness • Appropriate movement and gestures used to enhance action • Fluid movement and gestures used to enhance action without detracting from words
Pacing • Too slow, or too quick • Occasionally correct speed • Good pacing pattern • Good use of pacing, pausing
Introduction and Closure • No clear intro or ending, walks off before audience knows is finished • Introduces self and story, walks off when finished not waiting for audience reaction • Clear, attention getting intro and satisfying closure. Waits for applause • Intro sets mood and invites audience in, closure ties up everything and leaves audience satisfied
Enthusiasm • None exhibited, just scared • Enjoys audience • Conveys enthusiasm to audience • Enthusiasm propels audience to total involvement