Category Archives: Children

Mythology and Footwear


256px-PumaNov06Today, I told a First Nation myth about how turtle outsmarts eagle and frees the animals.  In the story all the animals become enslaved by golden eagle after loosing to him in a race.  Golden eagle’s first challenger is the puma.

A kindergartener seated in the front row, called out, “What is a puma?”  Quick as a flash, another kindergartener answered, “It’s a shoe.”

I run into the same issue when telling the Greek myth involving the Winged Goddess of Victory, Nike.

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

 

 

 

 

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Moving with the Story


Greek_-_Herakles_and_the_Erymanthian_Boar_-_Walters_48253_-_Detail_AThis morning, I’m meeting with my twenty storytelling apprentices to explore non-verbal communication. We’ll be focusing on gestures, posture and facial expressions today as we tell the labours of Hercules.

I look forward to seeing what these amazing 12 and 13 years olds will say and do.  They’re so filled with insights and enthusiasm for learning the art of storytelling!

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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It’s So Great Getting That Attention


The Dog and the Pig This morning, an eight year old spoke with me after a storytelling session.  She said, “The best part was getting to act out the stories with you.  It’s so great getting that attention!  I’m practicing for Broadway!”

Adorable!

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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The Hunter and the Polar Bear


Ursus_maritimus_par_Louis_Agassis_FuertesToday I’m going to tell an Inuit story, The Hunter and the Polar Bear for the first time, other than to my husband.  I love trying out ‘new’ stories (new to me, but usually hundreds of years old).  I’m always amazed at how many stunning stories there are to tell.  I can’t wait to hear what my little listeners have to say about this gem!  I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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Something to Infer About


This week I’m giving a workshop for Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2 and 3 teachers on Developing Inference Skills.

256px-Jack_escaping_from_the_GiantTo my way of thinking, inference is not taught, but inspired through storytelling.  (It is true that I think, just about everything worthwhile begins with a good story well told.)

The trick is not to teach inference, but to guide them to it.  When kids listen to stories deeply, they naturally make connections.

To borrow a sentiment from the Bonnie Raitt song, Lets Give Them Something to Talk About, I think the first step is to give them something to infer about!

I have yet to meet a child who can resist the lure of Once Upon A Time…  who’s heart rate, like Jack’s, doesn’t increase with the appearance of the giant at the top of the beanstalk and who doesn’t smile when they all lived happily ever after.

So much can happen in the imagination when listening to a story and it is there, in that magical world of the make-believe that inferences are made.

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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Low Five Highlight


ImageFebruary is always a busy month of telling great stories from Africa in celebration of Black History month.  There are so many fabulous African stories to tell and I always look forward to sharing my favourites with students all over southern Ontario.

This week, I visited seven different schools and as always, came home with many lovely stories to share with my husband after a day of storytelling.  Here are some of the highlights of my week.

After presenting an assembly in Pickering, a group of children were crowded around me asking questions and telling me which story they liked best, when I felt my hand being taken by someone small.  I looked over and saw a junior kindergarten boy positioning my hand to receive his “low five” slap of appreciation.  He didn’t say a word, but just smiled at me and continued walking in line with his kindergarten class back to their room.

In another school, I met two grade seven boys as they set up chairs for the teachers prior to the assembly.  I told them that if they wanted to be in one of the stories, that I’d choose them up if they volunteered.  One of them took me up on my offer and played the role of the lazy farmer in the story called Talk.  He had the whole school roaring with laughter and afterwards, one of the teachers told me that he was a shy student and was so pleased that he had had the chance to shine!

Yesterday, I told a little girl who wanted to play the elephant, that she had to sit properly when volunteering to participate.  She sat down so eagerly that it was clear she really wanted a turn.  I invited her up and she preformed her role beautifully.  Afterwards, her teacher told me she was autistic and normally didn’t participate in assemblies.

Next week, there will be more stories to tell and more children to touch my heart.  I’ll keep you informed.

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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Great Support from MaRS


We are enthusiastic clients of the cutting-edge MaRS Discovery Group in Toronto and they just published an article about us online.  http://marscommons.marsdd.com/business-models-matter/storyvalues/

Happy Storytelling!

Cheryl Thornton

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