Empowering the classroom for personal and global change

This workshop provides skills for teachers to help students thrive in the classroom in two ways. First, stories allow students to create their own images and take equity in what’s happening, making any curriculum more fun and meaningful. Second, traditional oral storytelling is a powerful way to develop language skills and shape thoughts and feelings more effectively. The end result is students and teachers who are more engaged in learning and who interact more productively, respectfully and compassionately in and outside of the classroom.

With effective storytelling techniques and enhanced listening skills students learn to celebrate their commonalities and respect their differences, often opening their hearts to see others as they would like to be seen. The classroom experience of learning is enhanced when both student and teacher feel respected and valued for who they are.

Participants emerge from a storytelling experience enriched. Learners internalize curriculum content in a way that has true meaning for them and teachers feel validated in their work. By effectively telling and listening to stories everyone is better able to embrace “the other,” not as someone to be feared or ridiculed but simply as a fellow human seeking what we all want: love, acceptance, community and purpose.





In this workshop Derek demonstrates a variety of styles of storytelling including the use of props, instruments, and sounds. Using movement, call and response and a variety of sounds, Derek talks about ways of engaging the student and audience and finding the right story for the occasion (ie. keynote speech, product presentation, training workshop).

Participants are given stories (myths, legends, folk tales etc.) to retell using the material they have just learned and Derek’s workshop becomes a master class in which participants have the opportunity to present their own work for feed back, refining and constructive critique.





The goal of storytelling is to show similarities and differences between people of diverse backgrounds and cultures thereby fostering appreciation and respect between them.

*To introduce participants to the art of storytelling as a mode of communication, as well as a traditional form of entertainment around the world
*To introduce participants to the value of personal stories told through performance
*To teach participants techniques of Oral History research using storytelling
*To guide participants in effective ways of writing their personal stories and the stories of other people using simple forms of writing.
*To emphasize the use of voice, body, reflection and creative imagery to effectively communicate thoughts, ideas, emotions and stories to others


Effective storytelling techniques include:

  • improved vocal quality
  • the power of pacing and timing
  • effective eye contact
  • asking informative questions
  • using silence and soundto enhance storytelling
  • choosing appropriate stories to fit the audience or curriculum

Workshop Activities include:

  • practicing reflective listening skills
  • working cooperatively with others using fun and easy exercises
  • getting feedback from peers
  • learning effective vocal techniques
  • play and information that foster professional and interpersonal growth