Monthly Archives: November 2011

The First Show of the Season Holiday Season


During the months of November, December and January, I perform a multicultural holiday show in schools which features seven different celebrations: Advent / Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Winter Solstice, Ramadan/Eid and  Kwanzaa.  Yesterday I gave my first performance for this year and had a wonderful time with a gym full of four to twelve year olds.

One of my favourite parts of performing in schools is talking with the children afterwards.  Yesterday, the kids who gathered around me after the assembly, were literally beaming with joy when they told me that I had actually talked about the holiday they celebrate at home!  We all need to have our lives reflected back to us from the world around us.

After I had packed up my storybag, loaded the props into the car and was headed for the door, the librarian asked if I had a moment.  A grade 3 student had requested to speak with me!  Most intrigued, I made my way to the library where I met a shy little boy who, in a spirit of kindness and generosity, wanted to tell me the correct pronunciation of Ravana, the ten headed demon in the Ramayana.  He knew something that I apparently didn’t, and wanted to help me.

I was touched by his thoughtfulness.

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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Filed under Art in Education, Children, Creativity, Drama, Education, Elementary schools, Fariytales, Folktales, Literacy, Multiculturalism, Myths, Performing, Stories, Storytelling

The Sound of Listening


One of my favourite sounds is the silence that settles over an assembly of children collectively listening to a great story. Yesterday as I told a story from Japan, the air filled with expectation, concentration and determination as 300 children listened to the adventures of a young boy entering a haunted monastery, armed only with a paintbrush and his creativity.

The imagination is an amazing thing to behold in faces of children. Yesterday, during the two assemblies I held in a school of over 600 students, I got to witness that expression on hundreds of adorable faces.
In the story, The Little Boy Who Loved to Paint Cats, a young artist falls asleep in a haunted monastery after painting hundreds of cats on the walls in a big room. He is awakened in the night by scary sounds coming from the room covered in cats. As I told this story, I saw what the expression of the little boy in the story must have looked like when he heard the scary noises, in the faces of every child sitting in the school gym.
Amazing!
Thanks for listening.
Cheryl Thornton

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Filed under Children, Creativity, Education, Fariytales, Folktales, Literacy, Myths, Stories, Storytelling