Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cover Your Eyes When Imagining a Ghost!


Today, my audiences of 4 and 5 year olds were filled with Ninjas, Spidermen, Sleeping Beauties  and Cinderellas.   Halloween was made for this preciously imaginative age group!

As I told two ghost-themed stories, The Teeny Tiny Woman and The Boy Who Spent the Night in a Haunted House, I noticed a couple of children covering their eyes during the suspenseful parts!  There was of course, nothing scary to see in the physical world, except for me sitting awkwardly on a tiny child size chair.  The children were attempting to cover their mind’s eyes for protection.  I have seen this a few times before, and it is usually a cue for me to lighten up on the suspense.

After listening to our two ghost stories, we filled the room with peels of laughter with some good old fashioned bathroom humour while listening to Hercules’ fifth labour about cleaning the poop out of the Augean stables!

All in all, it was a good day of telling ghost and poop stories to very appreciative listeners!

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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

All Hallows’ Eve Stories


Tomorrow is  Halloween and I’m planning to tell a couple of ghost stories to my Wednesday classes!  There are some spooky fun tales for young children that are exciting and a little bit scary, but not so much that would keep them awake at night.

There are two stories that I’d recommend for the under 12 crowd:

  • The Boy and the Ghost an African-American tale   There is a beautiful retelling of this by Robert D. Dan Souci by the same name.
  •  The Teeny Tiny Woman This classic ghost tales always helps kids get in the Halloween mood.  Paul Galdone’s version is my favourite.

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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Filed under Art in Education, Children, Creativity, Folktales, Myths, Stories, Storytelling

The Calming Effect of Stories


For the past 4 weeks,  I’ve been telling stories on Wednesdays to two groups of 3 to 5 year olds.  It’s been richly rewarding watching them learn how to listen!

The first week we met was somewhat chaotic with frequent outbursts of complaints of being ‘squished’ or ‘pushed’ or not being able to see because ‘so-and-so is sitting in front of me!’  But I have a secret solution that solves all this and his name is Hercules!

Each week, I tell one of the labours of Hercules.  This running serial installation of the Greek myth keeps both groups looking forward to what labour King  Eurystheus will give our hero next.  Before each telling, I ask the children to list the previous labours.  It is more than charming hearing a 4 year old say; “Hercules’ second labor was to slay the nine headed Lernean Hydra!”  They easily remember because the stories are so engaging, believable and unforgettable.

Happy storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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