Alan Irvine: Storyteller

For Teachers

What can storytelling do for you, a teacher? The answer is...quite a lot!

Storytelling can impact many areas of the curriculum and provide an effective tool for the entire school to use. Programs include:

Tales From Around the World Clever heroes, crafty tricksters, adventure, humor – Alan brings them all to life.  Explore cultures from around the world, or focus on stories from a specific region. With a repertoire of over 300 stories Alan designs the program to fit each different audience. 

Are You a Hero?  What makes someone a hero? Courage? Strength? Standing up for what’s right? With age-appropriate stories from around the world, Alan tells of different types of heroes, challenging audiences to think about heroes, and whether they, too, could be one. 

Is This Justice? “That’s not fair!”  Sound familiar? Alan challenges students to think about the difficult questions of what is fair and just with age-appropriate tales from around the world. At various points, Alan asks the students “what do you think they should do?  What would you decide?  What do you think is fair?” 

Shakespeare’s Stories Perfect to start, or wrap up, the study of a specific play, or to introduce students to Shakespeare.  Students are encouraged to ask questions about the plays and performance.  Tales include Romeo and Juliet, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth and others.

Ghost Stories Of course, perfect for October. Great for high school audiences.

Storytelling can help with all areas of the curriculum

Language Arts: Storytelling helps students develop a sense of plot, theme, and character. Storytelling makes clear the importance of types of language and usage, such as descriptive language or dialog. Storytelling develops listening skills and reading comprehension, and can introduce students to great works of literature and drama.

Creative Writing: Storytelling develops the skills of analyzing and constructing plots, details and descriptions, and characters.

Social Studies: Folktales and legends provide windows into other cultures, as a way of studying those cultures, as an intriguing introduction to a unit on a culture. Storytelling allows students to compare and contrast different cultures by comparing how they handle similar stories. Stories communicate details of a culture--food, dress, habits--in a compelling and memmorable fashion, as well as convey information on geography and settings.

History: Storytelling recreates times, places, events and people. Storytelling can bring history to life in a compelling and intriguing fashion, making sense of events and experiences that seem dull or confusing in a text. Working on their own stories teaches students how to conduct proper research.

Communications/Public Speaking: Storytelling helps students learn to remember, organize, and present oral material. Students learn how to interact with an audience. Storytelling builds listening skills and stage presence.

Math and Science: Many stories sharpen problem solving skills, demand analytic thinking and logic. Stories can explain scientific principles and ideas in a clear, understandable fashion. Storytelling can present the explanations other cultures have offered to make sense of the natural world. Storytelling offers math story problems that actually make sense.

Theater: Storytelling builds stage presence. Storytelling hones performance skills such as voice and movement and techniques of character developement.

Page last updated 12/19/04. Site design by Kevin Riley