What is a Story Workshop
Story Workshops bring volunteers into high school English classrooms and local community youth programs to encourage and support student storytellers. These volunteer listeners include adults from the community (active professionals, retirees), recent high school graduated who have participated in Story Works, and also older students from within the school. Participants workshop stories in small groups and can then opt to share their story with their full class. The stories that emerge from these workshops offer opportunities for learning and connection between peers and community members.
Teachers, group leaders, and youth participants 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 the community.
How A Story Workshop Works
(It = a typical Story Works workshop)
Our workshops offer opportunities for youth to share and explore their own stories with support from a team of local storytellers and story coaches.
You (the partner teacher or partner program coordinator) provide:
A safe and respectful learning environment.
A commitment to supporting young people and their stories.
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
Volunteers available to work with students in small groups
Planning and coordination of a final storytelling event (if applicable)
Note: As of Spring 2020, our in-person work happens only in Anchorage and Unalakleet, Alaska. However, we look forward to being in touch with teachers and students throughout Alaska –and beyond. Additionally, we now offer several online opportunities for young people, educators, and interested community members to engage in story sharing and listening online. Please see Story Circles for more information. You may also be interested in checking out our recordings, lessons, and other resources.
Example sequence of a typical in-person Story Workshop:
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) Volunteers 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 or with Your Group
Step 1: Fill out the 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/group, 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)/with your group. 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 theaters), Will Koeppen, Amber Johnson, Fisher Dill, Jovell, and ATMI (for beautiful photos).