In addition to this website, Vivian Dubrovin also maintains a blog ( What’s Their Story? ) where she occasionally contributes storytelling advice, project ideas, and personal experience stories. She has given us permission to repost these entries on this page so you can enjoy them here at the Kids’ Storytelling Club. We hope you find them helpful and inspiring. Thanks, Vivian!
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sharing The Mystery of Peace
If you’ve been exchanging stories with your friends about similar personal experiences, you’ve been telling ‘sharing stories.’ You can turn these everyday conversations into a timeless storytelling event, by collecting sharing stories around a common theme, such as peace.
You know many personal stories about peace, in your daily life among your friends and in your activities. But you’ll find that peace means different things to different people. The whole picture of peace can only be seen when everyone has a chance to say their piece of it. You can help create such an opportunity with a peace storytelling concert.
At the Kids’ Storytelling Club (www.storycraft.com on the home page or in the Treasure Chest), you can find a project (a sample story, simple craft, and tips and advice) to help you with this storytelling activity. The Club is celebrating 25 years online, with this classic project from the early years, showing how a good story is timeless. After all these years, we’re still finding pieces of peace. You can tell yours in your own storytelling concert with your friends.
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Do you want people to listen to you? Learn to tell your story!
The first stories you might tell may be ‘Sharing Stories.’ They are one of the easiest kinds of stories to tell, and your audience will be people you know, in casual situations. If you are wondering, “But what exactly is a Sharing Story? What do you mean?” the answer to that is a Sharing Story! Whenever a person says, “Oh, let me explain…” they are about to tell a story. You can, too!
You will simply be sharing a common experience, and your audience will relate to the person and events you are describing. Maybe you are telling of a pet, your new canary the day you brought it home from the store. And someone listening may remember then, the first day with their new puppy or kitten, and want to tell of that. A Sharing Story helps show what you and your audience have in common, your similar or shared experiences.
You can find more ideas for creating and sharing stories, at the Kids’ Storytelling Club (www.storycraft.com).
Thursday, April 23, 2020
The Latest News and Advice from Vivian!
Help Storycraft Publishing celebrate as The Kids’ Storytelling Club website (www.storycraft.com) begins its 25th year! We’ve put some of our most popular stories and storytelling crafts online for you to download for free. Check it out and see how we’ve modernized the whole website to make it more fun for you.
Throughout the year we may be posting new projects. Our current featured project is “Storytelling At Home.” Storytelling is easier than you think! When you start explaining to someone (maybe a sister, or a parent) or answer “What do you mean?” or “What are you doing?” you’re telling a story. And you make it interesting with your words. Learn more about how to create and tell such “home-made stories!”
Sunday, July 31, 2011
The Greatest Reward
What is the most important award that you have received? What one do you value most?People often ask that question.
Although I value all of the awards, honors, selections, and complimentary reviews that I have received on my books and periodical publications, the ones that mean the most, bring the greatest joy, are the simple ones that show me that I have accomplished what I set out to do.
Before I start working on a book, I ask myself, “Why am I writing this book? What do I hope to accomplish?”
As examples, I often give the school appearance that I made many years ago to a class that had spent most of the semester learning to read the series of books I had created to help children learn to read. And now, most recently, I’ve added a school appearance to a class where I spoke several years ago and demonstrated “The Little Ghost” marionette from the book, Storytelling Discoveries: Favorite Activities for Young Tellers.
When the summer school teacher called to invite me back again to be part of this year’s summer camp, she said, “Every year since you first told “The Little Ghost” and showed the ghost marionette, the kids have insisted on doing that program again.”
When I told the story this year, and skipped one part, the kids all knew it well enough to notice the change. But they enjoyed learning how “The Little Ghost” now had marionette friends in my new e-book, and how they could easily make their own stuffed toys into their own storytelling marionettes.
The Little Ghost from Storytelling Discoveries, and the Sock Doll and the Quick and Easy Marionette in Easy Beginner Tales are all good projects for this time of year, late summer but not time for school schedules to start yet, when kids are looking for something new to do.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The Secret Behind Storytelling Props for Kids
We’ve been busy at Storycraft Publishing resolving some issues and working on our new downloadable KidTellers booklets, so I haven’t posted in awhile. But it was brought to my attention that one of my books, Storytelling Adventures: Stories Kids Can Tell, was recommended in the spring issue of Scholastic Instructor magazine in an article discussing using props to help young storytellers. Some people have wondered how I got started using props with young tellers, and some of my experiences with it. So, here’s a little behind-the-scenes peek.
The Story Behind
The Leprechaun’s Magic Box
Sometimes telling a story with a prop, even a very small one, gives you the self confidence that you need for a good performance. It helps you to get in the spirit of your story.
A prop can be a craft you make, a puppet, or some other item you are talking about in your story. If your story is about football, hold a football in your hand. If your story is about a model rocket, hold one while you tell the tale.
As an example I created the story “The Secret of the Leprechaun’s Magic Box” to be told with a one-inch paper cube, the tiniest prop I could imagine. Holding one of the cubes in my hand, I told the story for the first time to a room full of professional storytellers. The magic worked.
Over the years, since the story was published in Storytelling Adventures: Stories Kids Can Tell, I’ve told the story many times in elementary and junior high classrooms, teacher workshops, and storytelling conferences. Once while telling the tale in an elementary classroom, the teacher told me that another class was creating similar boxes in a geometry class. I visited that class, told the story, and taught the students how to fill each box with something magic, something like love, courage, or responsibility.
One of the latest times I’ve told that story I asked the kids in the audience to help tell it by reciting the magic words when we came to that part of the tale. There are three places in the story where I usually recite the words, but the kids were having so much fun with their magic words, that I added a few more times. As I was leaving the school that day, the kids were being dismissed at the same time. As my storytelling helpers passed me in the hall they chanted the magic words one more time, “I can do that! I know I can! That’s easy!” and they waved their magic boxes.
“Real magic,” the leprechaun told the hero in the story, “is more powerful than any hocus-pocus pretend magic.”
The props kids use to help them tell stories are the magic that turn shy children and even the class clown into successful storytellers.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Welcome to a Blog for Helping Kids Become Storytellers
Kids are natural-born storytellers. They love to make things up. But, they get intimidated or don’t know how to start, or get confused and lose their place, or hurry or ramble or forget story structure and stop in the middle. There’s a great story inside struggling to get out; how do you help them?
Come here to the “What’s Their Story?” blog for expert tips and advice. You’ll find here topics such as how a storytelling story differs from written ones, how to use simple crafts to help remember parts of a story, telling tips for different types of storytelling, and how to create encouraging and fun storytelling opportunities to develop confidence and skill.
The blog is maintained by Vivian Dubrovin, author of over twenty books for children, including a series of books written for kids to help them become storytellers. She also edits a kid-safe website, The Kids’ Storytelling Club, which offers a variety of ideas and advice direct to young storytellers. Here on this blog you can get Vivian’s ideas for parents, teachers, group leaders, babysitters, or any other adults interested in helping young storytellers, just as if you were stopping in to visit her at a storytellers’ conference, or one of her workshops or teacher training visits. She is still writing books and ebooks and occasionally speaking but will add to this blog as time permits.
If you have youth storytelling questions, or would like to suggest a discussion topic, or share your experiences, please feel free to contact Vivian. And be sure to bookmark this site and check back often for fun ideas to help kids become storytellers.