two and three week residency
for elementary, middle, and high school students,and their teachers, with
vermont council on the arts/ new england foundation for the arts
When Tim Jennings comes to your school, he teaches your students how to find, learn, and tell traditional folk tales. The material he works with ranges from classic fairy tales to goofy kid folklore, and includes group and solo activities. Students remember and use this activity for the rest of their lives.
Each participant learns and tells at least two stories, first a simple one, which is assigned, and told informally in a small social group, then a more complicated one of the student\s own choice, which is told before the whole class.
Jennings works with three or four classes, meeting with them daily in their regular classrooms. In addition, he holds regular coaching sessions with individuals and small groups, and supervises a number of student performances before audiences composed of lower grade students. The residency culminates in one or more assembly programs of student storytelling, and occasionally leads up to an evening community performance featuring student storytelling and the music of Jennings' traditional harp and concertina ensemble, Sheefra.
"Parents always ask if Tim will be working with the seventh graders again. Kids love him. He can cajole the most hardened, resistant student into telling a story as if the student's life depended on it. Students are in awe of Tim, and magically drawn to him. He demands their best, and they reach deep and produce it."
-Ted Pogacar, Oxbow UHS, Bradvord VT.
---"All of the teachers felt that Mr. Jennings had acheived all his goals."
Principal, Neshobe School, Brandon.
A Few Last Words
Recent polls show that Americans are more frightened of speaking in public than of dying. What could be a more important language art? Folktales have been core school curricula for centuries, have served educational purposes for millennia, and somehow still manage to be a hot topic in a number of academic disciplines. By teaching students to enjoy the sharing of traditional stories, this workshop increases language skills, self-esteem, respect for others, and expressive ability, all the while exploring the classic literature of the spoken Folk Tale.
newspaper article about this workshop
advice from a 7th grade
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Jennings & Ponder * Sheefra* World Tales & Celtic Music
PO Box 522 Montpelier VT 05601