Uncle Don's Story Source


Why I Tell

I have been an instructor or a teacher all of my adult life. In that capacity, I have discovered the power of the story. I experienced that power as a listener, and unknowingly applied it as a teacher. When I finally found myself in a formal classroom with children, I found that the wall between 'teacher' and 'student' falls when the storyteller begins. The relationship between the storyteller and the audience is more cooperative, with the audience investing in the way the story unfolds. Preparing to teach through story might take longer initially, but the results are worth it. Remember that there was someone about two thousand years ahead of me who thought that the method was a good one!

How it Started

Like so many things in life, this didn't have a 'beginning'. When I applied for the residency in American Samoa, I had to produce a paper explaining my background and philosophy. It was only after that enforced introspection, I realized that both my parents had 'talked story' to me all my life, and that I had carried it on in both my family and my workplace wherever it was. The biggest revelation came when my daughter came home for a visit and talked non-stop, telling stories, for FIVE HOURS! I then realized that I had had a part in the creation of this marvel. Then I found that al four of my children are storytellers in their own right.

Story and Storytelling WWW Links I have Found


By some might be said of me that here I have but gathered a nosegay of strange flowers, and have put nothing of mine unto it but the thread to bind them.
Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), French essayist. Essays, bk. 3, ch. 12, "Of Physiognomy" (1588; tr. by John Florio). Montaigne's essays are full of classical quotations.

Not all of these sites have been carefully reviewed yet. My comments are in italics.

  1. Native American Stories http://www.fdl.cc.mn.us/~isk/stories/stories.html This site has only works by Native Americans. Some of it is personal stories i.e. Leonard Peltier, some of it is legend. All of it is meant to be true.
  2. Story Resources on the Web http://www.swarthmore.edu/~sjohnson/stories/ (0k)
  3. 19th Century German Stories http://www.fln.vcu.edu/menu.html
  4. Teaching with Stories and dialogue http://nunic.nu.edu/~nuri/llconf/conf1995/rader.html (13k) There is a body of research which shows that storytelling can be a powerful motivator in the classroom and a good method of creating more acceptable behaviours.
  5. Outline: Reading and Literature Dr. Suess Page A collection of many favorite stories, information about the author, and large print stories online. Classical Stories and Books. Current and Popular stories and books. http://www.indirect.com/www/dhixson/read.html (9k)
  6. Children’s Stories http://users.aol.com/pshapiro/stories.menu.html (3k)
  7. Stories we Tell http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/~gdmills/stories2.html (6k)
  8. Children’s Stories http://www.itsnet.com/~outward/childstory.html (2k)
  9. Genealogy buffs: Rowan, Hartley, McCreary family history by Mark Pontius. His home page points to more stories. This is a facsinating look at a modern storyteller telling his own past. http://www.eng.uci.edu/students/mpontius/hartley/index.html
  10. The Art of Storytelling http://www.indiana.edu/~summer/sumthem/sturm.html with pointers to other stories
  11. The outline of a Storytellers’ Program for fifth graders http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/db/pp/cc-00156.html See my separate comments on this inWhy I Tell, above
  12. Tales of Wonder - Stories from around the world http://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/~darsie/tales.html
  13. Storytellers Weave the Web http://gopher.libraries.wayne.edu/LISP/storytel.html A very complete collection of information, both content and delivery

My "Dave the Dragon" Stories

While a resident for the American Samoa Arts Council, I was asked for some stories which taught values. There I was limited on resources, especially WWW, so I came up with my own stories. These are introduced as being very special, because I know they were never written down, but are passed on in the oral tradition. I have been asked for them, but so far have kept my word and pass them on orally. I am not especially concerned about copyright, but would be disappointed to see them appear in type. If you are interested, I have now created three stories, each 10-15 min, dealing with the 'you can do it' theme, i.e. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, by Richard Bach.

If you realy want to know about Dave, visit Moloka'i, or talk to me. uncldon@aloha.net


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