What is a Story Workshop

Our Story Workshops bring volunteer story coaches (professionals from the community and project alums from within the school) into high school English classrooms to encourage and support student storytellers. Teachers and students also have access to resources and example stories developed by past Story Works participants. The stories that emerge offer opportunities for learning and connection between peers and community members.

How A Story Workshop Works

(It = a typical Story Works workshop)

Our workshops offer opportunities for students to share and explore their own stories with support from a team of storytellers and story coaches.

You (the partner teacher) provide:

A safe and respectful classroom environment.

A commitment to supporting students and their stories.

We provide:

Lesson plans

Student materials (developed with support from Story Works partner educators and students)

Example stories told by students (video and audio recordings + live stories if Story Works alumni at your school are available to visit your class in person)

Video resources developed by students and educators

Volunteer story coaches available to work with students in small groups

Planning and coordination of a final storytelling event

Note: As of Nov. 2019, our work happens only in Anchorage and Unalakleet, Alaska. However, we look forward to being in touch with teachers and students throughout Alaska –and beyond.  Though we probably won’t be able to email any real-live story coaches, we can certainly connect students and teachers to recordings, lessons, and other resources.

Example sequence

Introduction to Workshops and Assignment: (Approx. 1.5 hours) Students are introduced to their storytelling assignment and offered alternatives if they need to opt out. They also begin listening to example stories and brainstorming their own stories.

Student Story Development: (Time flexible) Students work in class and/or at home to develop and revise their own stories.

Story Coaching Sessions: (Time flexible) Volunteer story coaches listen and offer feedback to student storytellers in small groups.  Can be followed by additional feedback sessions between students.

Student Storytelling Event:  (Time flexible) Students share stories with each other in-class or in an after-school performance.

Host a Workshop in Your Classroom

Step 1: Fill out the Teacher Interest Form (below) to let us know that you are interested.

Step 2: Meet with Story Works core volunteers to discuss workshop options, develop plans for your classes, identify potential storytellers, decide how many story coaches you would like per class, and set workshop dates.

Step 3: Story Works schedules volunteers to help support your workshop(s).

Step 4 and beyond: Workshops happen in your class(es).  Wonderful stories emerge.

Thank you to the Alaska Humanities Forum, the National Storytelling Network, the Atwood Foundation, the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition, Spirit of Youth, the Alaska Teen Media Institute, Arctic Entries, the Alaska Community Foundation, the National Writing Project, EducatorInnovator, and the Rasmuson Foundation, and to the teachers (in Anchorage and Bering Straits School Districts) , students, and volunteers, who have helped support the creation and revision of these materials.

Thank you also to Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop (for cookies), the Bear Tooth (for pizza), and the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center and 49th State Brewing, (for sharing their beautiful theatres), Will Koeppen,  Amber Johnson, Fisher Dill, and ATMI (for beautiful photos).

Teacher Interest Form


Before using the online registration system confirm that your application has been approved and make sure you can attend (or have attended) an orientation session prior to your volunteer date. We will have to decline any unapproved registrations. Thanks for your understanding!

It's cool, I've been approved! (if I haven't, I'm just looking.)

Oops, I need to fill out a volunteer application...