Around the World with Cinderella

Buggy Kentucky
science + stories








"Not only did you do a super job of keeping us awake and alert after lunch, you made us stretch our minds and creativity through the drawing and mirroring exercises." . . . "Now I can finally say I've seen The Storyteller Mary. And I finally understand what all the fuss is about. You're real, Mary. You're as honest on the platform as you are on the phone. That's very refreshing in this business. Besides that, you can take us anywhere with your magical way of weaving a story. You're great!"
Rogena Walden, Speakers School, Kentucky Speakers Association

Here are short descriptions of Mary's workshops and lecture/demonstrations. Detailed proposals are also available should you want to know more about any of them. All of these workshops are for adult participants; however, student versions are available for Explore-a-Story, Learn a Folktale Today, and Learning Folktales, Shaping Folktale Retellings. For more examples of Mary's work with students, see the Residencies page.

In addition to the workshops listed below, Mary has also put together customized workshop days, full week workshops, and college level intensive courses for adults. So, if you don’t see exactly what you want, have a conversation with Mary about what might best suit the specific needs of your group.

Contents: Click on the Workshop Titles below for descriptions

All Together Now: Developing Audience Participation Tales
Evolution of Tale Retellings (lecture/demonstration)
Learn a Folktale Today
Learning Folktales, Shaping Folktale Retellings
Parents as Storytellers
Reading So Others Want to Listen
Storying Your Classroom
Storying Your Message (lecture/demonstration)Storytelling: A Basic Workshop
Telling Stories and Reading Aloud to Preschoolers and Kindergarteners (an introduction)

All Together Now: Developing Audience Participation Tales
You’ve seen it happen. Audiences join in – chanting along, singing along, and helping tell the story. But what makes it work? We’ll explore the answers to that question in this workshop for tellers who already know how to tell a story, and want to increase easily observable audience participation in their storytelling.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
1.   Identify characteristics of stories (or portions of stories) with audience participation potential.
2.   Select from a variety of methods when adapting stories for audience participation.
3.   Select from a variety of strategies for inviting audiences to participate.
4.   Consider how to facilitate participation for audience success.
5.   Take home a handout with ideas on adaptation methods, invitation strategies, and facilitating tips.

Length: 90 minute and ½ day versions available.
In the half-day versions, participants also bring a story to the workshop. During the workshop, they practice adapting their story for audience participation, and try it out on other workshop participants.
Appropriate for: Storytellers, (a slightly different version of this workshop is available for teachers of kindergarten and primary students)

“Now I feel really confident about finding ways to incorporate audience participation into stories and doing it successfully.”
Workshop participant, Northlands Storytelling Conference

Evolution of Tale Retellings (lecture/demonstration)

Using stories from her repertoire, Mary will contrast the tale as she found it with the tale as she currently retells it and talk about what happened as the retellings evolved.
Length: 60 and 90 minute versions available
Appropriate for: Anyone interested in the topic.

Using a folktale, participants are led in a variety of activities including round robin retelling, round robin informal dramatizations, and interviewing characters. All activities are designed to encourage thinking beyond the tale text.
Length: One hour minimum (a longer session allows for more exploration!)
Appropriate for: all ages, even mixed age groups. Variations are available for teachers of K and Primary students that include instruction on leading explore-a-story activities - allow 3 hours. Explore-a-story can also be adapted for a multiple session school residency exploration of a story.

back to top

Learn a Folktale Today
In this highly interactive workshop, participants learn a folktale without memorizing the words. Methods include outlining setting, plot and characters, and creating conversations, musical retellings, tableaus, sound poems, and story maps. Length: 90 min. - 2 hours
Appropriate for: tellers, teachers, librarians, students Grades 4 and up in multiple session residencies.

“From the handout to the presentation, this was one of the finest, most applicable workshops I've ever attended! This was information that teachers and tellers will use again and again!"
Rita Paskowitz, Workshop participant, Storytelling Festival of Nebraska, Omaha

Learning Folktales, Shaping Folktale Retellings
This workshop includes all activities in "Learn a Folktale Today" then adds the concept that tellers make discoveries during the learning of a story that become decisions that shape a teller's retelling of the tale. Decisions include: motivation for characters' actions, story theme, point of view, which character the narrator follows most closely. After quickly learning the tale, participants select a "decision" then shape a retelling of the story that reflects the decision.
Length: 4 hours
Appropriate for: tellers, middle and high school language arts teachers, high school students in multiple session residencies.

Parents as Storytellers
Parents are a child's first and most important storytellers. Explore story sources and consider the how, why, where, and when of telling stories to your children.
Length: 60 - 90 minutes
Appropriate for: parents and guardians

back to top

Reading So Others Want to Listen
Effective reading involves communicating meaning, not just saying words. This hands-on workshop explores the skills needed to read aloud well. Participants will learn how proper breath support, vocal articulation, timing, using sound to convey emotion, and playing with sound words can all enhance effective reading aloud. 
Length: 90-minutes – 4 hours
In longer versions, participants receive guided practice reading poetry and/or picture books aloud. Optional small group coaching sessions are also available as a follow-up to this workshop.
Appropriate for: Librarians, teachers, parents, and anyone else who needs to read aloud and wants to develop or heighten skills.

Storying Your Classroom
Here’s a workshop chock-full of practical, easy-to-implement ideas for incorporating storytelling into your curriculum. You’ll hear examples already in use by teachers, and create your own applications too. You’ll learn a couple of easy to retell stories, plus a variety of different ways you can use them in your classroom instruction.  Because of the hands-on nature of this workshop, you’ll be ready to roll with a useful story when you return to your classroom.
Length: Half-day.
Appropriate for: Teachers and others who want to incorporate storytelling into instruction. 

Storying Your Message (lecture/demonstration)
During this session participants observe storytelling in action, hear storytelling tips, and learn how establishing a context for a story and shaping a story can help make a point. There will also be time for questions.
Length: 90 minutes
Appropriate for: public speakers, teachers, preachers, and other adults who want to use stories to make a point.

Storytelling: a Basic Workshop
This hands-on workshop examines the common bonds between everyday storytelling and storytelling as a dramatic formal activity. Each participant chooses a folktale, then uses that folktale to practice story-learning techniques and to apply storytelling skills-development activities. Participants leave the workshop with an increased understanding of the art and process of storytelling and with the ability to more effectively retell a folktale. Optional small group coaching sessions are available as follow-up.
Length: 6 hours
Appropriate for: All who think of themselves as beginning or intermediate level storytellers. (This workshop can be adapted into a multiple session residency for students.)

back to top

Telling Stories and Reading Aloud to Preschoolers and Kindergarteners (an introduction)
Both storytelling and reading aloud are essential skills for educators - especially those working with young children. By the end of this introductory workshop, participants will:
  1. Increase their awareness of storytelling as a fun, improvisational, and accessible art form,
  2. Increase their awareness of story patterns as a memory aid for storytellers.
  3. Know at least two stories for telling to young children.
  4. Increase their awareness of the elements of reading with expression - timing, word emphasis, emotion, and sound words.
  5. Understand the different physical requirements of sharing a picture book one-on-one compared with sharing a picture book with a group.
  6. Increase awareness of differences between storytelling (oral) language and book language and how children will benefit from both.

Length: Three-hour and four-hour versions available.
In the four-hour versions, participants will also:

  • Learn how to informally dramatize stories (told and from print) with preschoolers using an actors’ list instead of standard casting.
  • Learn rationale and logistics for writing down stories dictated by preschoolers. Participants will hear examples of dictated stories from preschool-aged children (with no names or locations given to protect privacy), and will learn how to apply the informal dramatization techniques learned to the stories dictated by the children.

Appropriate for: Preschool and Kindergarten teachers, and others with a need to tell stories and read aloud to groups of Preschoolers or Kindergarteners
Approved for credit towards Kentucky Child Care Licensing and/or STARS

“What you are doing is very important and makes the storytelling and reading aloud easier for us and enjoyable for the children.” 
Workshop Participant, Larue County Early Childhood Council

back to top

"What at day! Everybody in our workshop was excited and enthusiastic about story telling after hearing your presentation and participating in your interactive teaching. You provided all of the attendees a vision that takes the simple act of storytelling to an art form exponentially many levels above what they envisioned as the day started. You provided insight and understanding that exceeded my expectations."
Richard Vail, Ohio Speaker's Circle


Mary Hamilton, Professional Storyteller
65 Springhill Road, Frankfort, KY 40601-9211
Phone: 1-502-223-4523