Day One at the Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough TN

The first full day of the “International Storytelling Festival”

Now the tough decisions must be made, like which tent should I go to so see some of the storytellers?  Some tellers are very familiar like: Donald Davis, Carol Birch, and Bill Harley.  While others are “new voices” – the first time they have told at this festival.

I finally decide to go to the Courthouse Tent where there are many different tellers rotating into the area for the first day.  You have to get to the tent early to get a choice set.  The audience is a patch work of people: old, young, all colors, sizes, and shapes.  Each with their own story to tell. Many are teachers, librarians, preachers, counselors, but they all share a love for stories told.

My dear friend, Dr. Shirley Raines, is sharing the festival with me this year.  After attending the Festival several years ago, we were concerned that many of the stories we were hearing would not work with young children.  So, we began collecting stories that were appropriate to tell to young children.  Ultimately we had two volumes Tell it Again and Tell it Again 2 with over 32 complete stories so busy teachers didn’t have to search for the story.

Included are story cards to help when you first tell the story, and activities to extend the storytelling.   Some stories in the set are familiar and very easy to tell.  The first story I told to young children was “Three Billy Goats Gruff”.  It has a simple sequence to the story line, distinct voices for each goat, and of course the Monstrous Troll. Included in our collection are stories that might be new for you, or help you gain understanding of different cultures, and all have a moral that is worth sharing.

As a celebration of the Festival, we are offering the two volume collection (Tell it Again and Tell it Again 2) for the much reduced price of $20 for both – plus shipping.  This will provide you the stories that your children will love and want to hear “ Again, and Again”.  (Buy now).

Now you might say, “But I’m not a storyteller.”  But you are! Every time you share a personal story about a child in your class, or a funny event that occurred, or a family story at holidays you are telling a story.  Children appreciate your stories, find joy in the telling and it builds personal connections.

One of the T-shirts at the festival said “The shortest distance between two people is a story”. Once you tell a story to young children you will catch the bug.  The excitement in their eyes, their focused listening, and their participation in the telling will capture you the storyteller!

2 replies
  1. Shirley Raines
    Shirley Raines says:

    The National Storytelling Festival was filled with great stories, a little music, funny and poignant stories. Who better to share the festival with than my dear friend, coauthor and great speaker, Dr. Rebecca Isbell. Thank you. How fortunate your students and participants in your workshops are to learn from you.

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