Your Stories for Them
Andrew Wright, Saturday 14.30-15.30

I take ‘stories’ to mean, ‘any account of something that happened...imaginary, traditional or true.’ (Macmillan English Dictionary)

We are a walking collection of stories. Some of the stories remain as indentifiable stories in our memories and we can dig them out and tell them. Other stories have been broken down by our mental digestive system and have contributed to our values, perceptions and behaviours. Both forms of story are valuable.

The values, perceptions and behaviours built by stories in our minds act as a map for helping us to make sense of our daily experience. We are guided by the ‘story map’ as to the role we might play, the action we might take, the judgements we might come to in our daily life.

We can also make sense for other people in dealing with their experience! As loving parents and teachers we want to do this in order to help our children to respond to experience in the way we think is right. Politicians, commercial people, the military and the church all want to do the same thing. We can mould people through stories as surely as moulding clay. Mould and manipulate.

Food makes our bodies. Stories make our minds (and even the food we eat is partly determined by our story maps).

Stories are the foundation stones, the corner stones and the key stones in the building of who we are. Given this is true what could be more fundamental in the education of our children than stories?

In this workshop I would like to help participants to explore their stories and their story maps and how they might be used in class. I will also touch on some basic techniques for oral storytelling which should help each colleague to find their own way of achieving successful telling.

Andrew is an author, teacher trainer, storyteller and illustrator. As an an author and illustrator he has written and illustrated stories for West Deutcher Rundfunk, ITV and the BBC. He has published, ‘Storytelling with Children’ and ‘Creating Stories with Children’, and the ‘Spellbinder’ series of readers for Oxford University Press and ‘Writing Stories’ for Helbling Languages. He is a member of the Society for Storytelling in Britain and has told stories to approximately 50,000 children and adults in more than twenty countries.