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“TREE”mendous

Storyteller and naturalist Kim Madden will introduce stories about our friends, the TREES. Students will discover the many facets of these living members of our world – and our own backyards. They will listen, participate, imagine, and predict, as Ms. Kim weaves...

Alphabet Adventures: Phonics Fun

Pre-writing and pre-reading skills are introduced to young learners through the excitement of music, movement, story and visual art. Each session, with children’s book author and illustrator Sandra Griffin, focuses on a vowel or one of the common consonants. Hearing,...

Amazing Animals!

Join veteran Zoo naturalist and living history performer Dianne Moran as she presents a fun-filled learning experience. Live animals (spiders, insects, snakes, lizards and small animals), bio facts of skins, skulls, etc. along with lots of audience participation...

Amazing Creatures!

Join veteran zoo naturalist Dianne Moran as she engages students to join her on a journey into the wild realm of animals! Live animals, animal bio facts (skins, skulls and uniquely preserved specimens) along with lots of student participation highlight this fun and...

Around the World and Back Again

Folktales from around the world teach children about neighbors near and far, and how much alike we really are. This program can easily be tailored to specific continents or regions. Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance...

Back to the Books: Stories that Encourage Reading

Excite your students with the joy of reading!  Using high energy animation and dynamic sound effects, three-time Emmy Award winner Bobby Norfolk brings to life myths, folktales and legends! By highlighting popular library books, Bobby illustrates the power of...

Be an Instant Storyteller!

In this workshop, the dynamic Sherry Norfolk will immerse students in the artistic process of storytelling. They hear stories, create their own tales and then immediately tell the new story to a classmate. This is an excellent way to kick off a creative writing unit...

Care-full Stories

Young children learn to care for the people in their daily lives with children’s librarian Marilyn Lane. From Goldilocks who returns to apologize to the Three Bears, to the forest animals who snuggle with the bear to stay warm, students’ visualization skills are...

Civil War Diary

Explore the life of a woman during the Civil War with storyteller and historian Dianne Moran. What was life like during the war? Did women participate in any of the fighting? Dianne plays her mountain dulcimer, spins a few tales and shows relics from the battles. She...

Colonial Peasant Woman

Colonial life in the Midwestern woodlands is resurrected as Dianne appears in period dress to tell true stories of the wilderness and village life. She answers questions including — Who were they? Why did they move here? What did they do at home? What games did the...

Creating a Storytelling Classroom

Through demonstrations, interactive instructional models and lively discussion, this training seminar will explore the ways in which storytelling and folktales can enliven and inform the character education classroom, thus awakening the “moral imagination.”...

Dance to the Drum, Drum to the Dance

Join Kunama Mtendaji on an exciting journey exploring the rhythmic textures of African percussion through music and dance. This program will focus on either the folklore of the United States, or areas in West Africa, Haiti, and Cuba, and will emphasize the languages,...

Dancing the Story

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Dancing the Story is a 3-5 day virtual creative dance residency that explores a work of literature through movement and dance making. Directed by dance educator and choreographer Sarah Council, students will consider...

Discovering the World Around Us

Students will hear tales of discovery — woods and streams, creatures large and small, changing seasons, and the mysteries emerging from a variety of ecosystems.  Supported by a Missouri Master Naturalist, they will have the opportunity to experience nature in their...

Down on the Farm

Old MacDonald is joined by a host of critters and characters who make the barnyard the happening place to be! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Dramatic Play Through Puppetry

Guided by puppeteer Paul Vandivort, students in this program learn to use puppets to enter imaginary worlds and to act out stories. In small groups, students practice cooperation while playing games that teach math, phonics and public speaking skills. Creating their...

Dreams Deferred: The Poetry and Prose of the Harlem Renaissance

All aboard! Jump on the "A" train to celebrate the African-American art, music, and poetry exploding out of Harlem in the early 20th century. During this artistic journey, we will make stops for poetry, prose, vignettes and toe-tapping music! Bobby uses musical...

Earth Tracks

Nature within the realm of science is a logical and beautiful metaphor to the arts. A casual nature walk can fill our senses with infinite shapes, sounds and esthetic beauty. Many of our greatest artists have been influenced by the natural world, whether they are...

Earth Woman Stories

Join Living History presenter Dianne Moran as she leads your students back to a time when hundreds of Native Americans lived as one with nature. In the Residency, students will learn the importance of tribal storytelling, the lessons they taught and dress in Native...

Exploring the Common Core

Storytelling is a powerful vehicle for integrating the reading, writing, listening, speaking and research standards of the Common Core Curriculum. Participants will take part in hands-on grade-level-appropriate lessons that address Language Arts, Social Studies and...

Folktales From Around the World: Stories of Cultural Diversity

Dynamic sound effects and Bobby’s lively, animated style highlight this presentation of tales from the Far East, Africa, Europe and America. As Bobby compares and contrasts different cultures students learn that people from around the globe are more alike than...

Frolicking Frogs

Happy, hoppy stories of frogs from around the globe. Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist/Partner: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program

Harriet Tubman: An American Hero

By now, many Americans have learned that Harriet Tubman was the most infamous leader of the Underground Railroad, but what does that mean? What exactly was the Underground Railroad and how was it run? What were the roads that were taken into Freedom? How many miles in...

Hear It! Tell It! Learn It!

Listening, speaking, reading and writing are the cornerstones of literacy and all four are combined in this action-packed residency. Students will hear stories and then become storytellers themselves…repeating the stories in large groups, small groups and...

Heart of the Story

Students learn the many ways a story can be told in this innovative program taught by storyteller and puppeteer Daniel Romano.  Each week they will be engaged in a folktale through storytelling, read-alouds, role plays, and/or puppet shows, comparing and contrasting...

Heroes Are Everywhere: Write Your Own Journey Myth

Note: This program can only be delivered virtually. Stories are doorways to help us understand the world, and myths are some of the greatest stories ever told. Some of the most famous myths are journey myths, in which a character must go on a quest and face many...

I am a Storyteller

Bring out the natural storyteller in your students in this performance/literacy program! Students are immersed in folktales, written and oral, from Anansi trickster tales to tall tales of John Henry and Paul Bunyan.  They then select, adapt, and learn a story to...

I Can’t Sleep

When we have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, it’s comforting to know that others share the same problems! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program...

I Read It in a Book

Each of these stories brings a favorite picture book to life, helping children make the important connection between stories and the printed word. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

In, On and Around the Pond

In, On and Around the Pond: Animals that live in or near the pond provide a lively theme for this active program featuring frogs, ducks, geese, beavers and maybe a water snake or two! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance...

It’s For the Birds!

Crows, owls, ravens, hawks and buzzards are among the many winged creatures that inhabit these folktales! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Leapin’ Lizards!

Geckos, chameleons, horned lizards, gators and crocodiles slither and slide through these multicultural tales! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

Lewis and Clark’s Sacagawea

Learn about the life of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who became immortalized because of her journey accompanying the Corps of Discovery in 1804-1806. Sacagawea recounts the story of her amazing life and adventures. In Shoshone dress, with articles for her survival,...

Life and Times of Absalom Grimes, Civil War Spy

Students will relive the experiences of Absalom Grimes, one of Gratiot Street Prison's former inmates, as the hardships of prison life and the absurdities of Civil War era justice as related by actor, Barnes Bradshaw. Twice sentenced to death by the federal...

Living History Programs

Bring a historical character into your classroom. Through first person narrative, Bobby will bring to life one of the following: Through The Eyes of York: The Lewis & Clark Story (Grades 3-12) Dreams Deferred: The Poetry and Prose of Harlem (Grades 6-12) Scott...

Making Meaning: Turning Pictures Into Words

Visual literacy and visual literacy skills (looking, seeing, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing) are necessary for reading.  In teaching reading, we must aim to develop not only decoding skills, but more significantly mental pictures...

Milky Way, Moons, and Meteorites

Join educator, author, and songwriter Dinosaur O’Dell for an interactive assembly about outer space science. The students learn about the planets in our solar system, gravity, the greenhouse effect, friction, and the difference between meteors, meteorites, and...

Mission Improvable

Discover the creative world of improvisational dramatics. While constructing a short play based on a classroom theme, children experience the improvisation arts of pantomime, storytelling and spontaneous character. Ed Reggi chooses from more than 50 improvisation...

Missouri, Eyes to the West

The realities of the wagon train migrations to the west were exciting but filled with struggles of people searching for a better life. Lewis and Clark opened the West, but it would be another 40 years after the expedition ended before great numbers of pioneers would...

Moral of the Story

Research tells us that the BEST way for young children to learn how to treat others is through stories that help them develop empathy and understanding. These fun-filled stories do just that without a single moment of preaching or didactic-ism! Also available for...

Music! Music! Music!

Melody, rhythm and dance provide the motif for these stories! Kids will be dancing, singing, clapping and tapping along! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program...

Natural Wonders… Earth Protectors Who Led the Way

Former St. Louis Zoo Naturalist and Great Ape Keeper Dianne Moran leads students on a journey into environmental history as she portrays either Mountain Gorilla Researcher and Defender Dian Fossey, or Mother of Environmentalism Rachel Carson. Stepping from character,...

North to Alaska!

Folktales from Alaska introduce children to the animals and customs of our northernmost state in a way they will never forget! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book...

Peter Rabbit Grows a Garden

This performance features Peter Rabbit growing his own garden after receiving seeds and instruction from a disgruntled farmer named Jill. Problems arise when a gopher steals some of Peter’s carrots.  Peter has to resolve the issue by sharing his knowledge of gardening...

Picture Bookmaking

This program introduces children to the joy of writing, illustrating and reading aloud their own original stories.  A published author/illustrator of children's books, Sandra Griffin shares with students the process and rewards of creating illustrated books. Students...

Professor I Drop, The Juggling Scientist

Jay Cady of Laughing Matters illustrates the concepts of kinetic and potential energy using bean bags, spinning plates, and other juggling equipment in this interactive classroom workshop. He also shares original poems about famous scientists and challenges students...

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Sherry Norfolk performs tales of storms, rain, drought, clouds and weather! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program

Re-Tell Me a Story

In each thirty minute residency session, children will hear and actively participate in a variety of curriculum-themed stories that strengthen their listening skills and stretch their attention spans – AND within each session, children will dramatize and re-tell...

Revolutionary War, An American View

The battlegrounds of Valley Forge, Trenton, and others stand witness to the Revolutionary War. However little is known of the battle of Ft. San Carlos, fought on May26, 1780 at Fourth and Walnut streets, right here in St. Louis. Students learn why the colonists...

Rhythms, Rhymes & Raps: Poetry, Prose & Rap Stories

Kids discover the music of poetry through a rollicking multi-cultural tour of raps and traditional verse. Bobby turns traditional tales, such as “Little Red Riding Hood” or “The Three Billy’s Goat’s Gruff,” into finger-snapping, toe-tapping verse. He transforms...

Scott Joplin: The Ragtime King

The music of Scott Joplin influenced a whole generation! Explore the life and music of an American original. This exciting and engaging program combines storytelling, live music and audience participation and traces Joplin’s path from an inauspicious beginning in...

Secret Agents of the Underground Railroad

These exciting, true stories of amazing danger and adventure bring to life the real heroes of the Underground Railroad, an informal network of safe houses and trails used by 19th century black slaves to bring people to freedom. Through this program, important parts of...

Shadowball: The Negro Baseball Leagues

Bobby Norfolk’s latest living history performance takes us on a fascinating journey through the heyday of the Negro Baseball Leagues, a time when this country was segregated by Jim Crow laws, and America’s “National Pastime” wore two faces, the whites-only Major...

Spiders ’n’ Bugs ’n’ Butterflies

Creeping, crawling, fuzzy, flying insects fill these interactive stories with wiggles and giggles! Also available for virtual performances. Audience: Grades PK-K Format: Performance Teaching Artist: Sherry Norfolk Request Info / Book Program [salesforce...

St. Louis and the Great Fire of 1849

The City of St. Louis nearly disappeared from the map the night of May 17, 1849. While docked on the Mighty Mississippi, a small fire started on the steamboat White Cloud. The flames quickly spread to the loading docks and soon destroyed 15 blocks of the city. Through...

Stories of Cooperation and Connection

Ms. Madonna weaves together storytelling, music, and role play as students travel around the world through story. Students hear and act out stories that broaden their understanding of themselves and foster peaceful relationships with one another and the larger...

Stories to Celebrate Special Themes!

Throughout the school year, there are many thematic events for students to learn timely lessons. Bobby has an array of stories to help celebrate these special events in your classroom. For the first semester, he has scary and not too scary stories for Halloween....

Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum

This workshops provides a hands-on introduction to the art and its magical ability to engage students in learning. By its nature, storytelling is experiential, engaging, and involving. More classroom teachers are discovering what storytellers have always known: that...

Storytelling Express: A Musical Journey Around the World!

Conductor Bobby Norfolk and Engineer Dave Farver will magically transport you on their express train across vast continents where you will meet mysterious characters whose adventures will entertain and enlighten you.  You’ll be amazed as Bobby brings to life diverse...

Storytelling in the ESL Classroom

Storytelling offers many ways for an English language student to improve speaking and listening skills. When students listen to stories, they become more proficient in understanding the spoken words, improving vocabulary and fluency. When students tell stories, they...

Storytelling: A Powerful Tool for Brain-Based Education

Through demonstrations, interactive instructional models and lively discussion, this training seminar will explore the ways in which storytelling and folktales can provide a meaningful matrix for learning which positively affects test scores and competencies....

Tales of the Underground Railroad: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown

Journey back to the historical era of the Underground Railroad in this theatrical reenactment of one man’s struggle for emancipation. Henry “Box” Brown was born into slavery in Virginia in 1816. After his wife and children were taken from him and sold, he had himself...

Tales With a Point: Fables and Fairytales

The Cady duo not only bring fables and fairy tales to life in this energetic performance, they help children analyze the stories by identifying characters, settings, plots, and morals. Jay and Leslie use theatricality, humor, circus skills, and audience participation...

Tales Worth Telling: Stories of Character Education

Bobby puts a new spin on the age-old practice of using stories to impart universal values, such as cooperation, self-esteem, honesty, responsibility and respect in this series of tales that focus on enhancing Character Education. Available for after school and virtual...

Teaching Kids to Tell Stories

Teachers will learn effective methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn-and-re-tell or create-and-tell stories, thus improving both written and oral communication skills as well as impacting critical thinking skills, increasing poise and enhancing...

Tellin’ Tales

This fast-paced, participatory workshop involves verbal and physical response, singing, dancing and problem solving. Children learn and re-tell a folktale in their own words, enhancing oral language, sequencing and conceptualization skills. Also available for virtual...

Three Little What-zits and the Big Bad Who-zit

In this residency, Sherry Norfolk will perform a fractured version of “The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf,” then explore the pattern of fracturing stories with students. Students will research a particular state, continent, habitat or region to choose their...

Through the Eyes of York: The Lewis & Clark Story

York, William Clark's slave, was the only African-American member of the "Corps of Discovery" — the official name of the band of courageous explorers whose epic journey across our continent became immortalized as the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Plains Indians...

Turn Off The Lights

With shadow puppets, a completely different type of performance is available. Shadow Puppets resemble silhouettes more than traditional puppets and can move in very life-like and dramatic ways. When the house lights go down and the stage light casts the first shadow,...

Twice Upon A Time

Students join this storyteller and jazz musician for a blend of trickster, pourquoi, and heroic tales. Students become more engaged and analytical listeners as they are actively engaged in stories rich in humor, wise lessons, and memorable patterns. As they retell the...

Using Storytelling to Motivate Student Research

Storytelling evokes curiosity; curiosity provokes learning. Teaching students to do research is often hampered by the fact that students don’t WANT to do research. It simply doesn’t seem relevant or interesting to them. BUT…these Pre K-high school storytelling...

Voices of the American Dream: The Ellis Island Story

What would cause thousands of people to give up a way of life, leaving their homelands and, sometimes, their family members behind to come to foreign shores? Students will find out with Dianne Moran by dressing in turn of the century clothing, showing personal...

Voices of the Past: Famous People of Missouri

Experience the drama, humor and excitement of the fascinating people and historical events of early St. Louis & Missouri. This program will highlight the Great Fire and Cholera Epidemic of the 1800’s, myths and facts of slavery in St. Louis and the various ethnic...

We Are the World

Students travel each week to a different country with storyteller Linda Kram. Students learn the differences and similarities between cultures as they greet each other and learn to count in another country’s language, explore its artifacts, and participate in music...

Women Get the Vote: America’s Suffrage Story

What if you were told that you couldn’t vote? That’s what half of the American adult population—the female half—was told until 1920. Using historical records and dramatic reenactment, Karen portrays a cantankerous suffragette and her modern day...

Words from the Drum

Kunama drums, sings, dances and tells stories with a vibrant energy, bringing together students of all ages.  The tales, rich in African-American folklore, come to life through audience participation in music and dance from the United States, Africa, Brazil and the...

Young Voices

Students experiment with visualization, drama skills and storytelling techniques to act and “tell” their way through the process of writing a story. The classroom teacher selects a theme; Sherry then tells a story based on that theme and dissects its structure for...