May 2009

The Melody of May

Ahhh the melody of May…spring is finally here and each morning I can hear the birds singing in the trees. Just the thought of it makes me smile!

I have just returned from beautiful Green Lake, WI and the Northlands Storytelling Conference where I presented my beginners storytelling workshop, Storytelling With Ease. I also had the great pleasure of telling in their Saturday concert with four other multi-talented storytellers: Beth Horner, Sue Black, Bob Reiser and Marilyn Kinsella. This conference is always packed with excellent workshops, concerts and other opportunities to learn and play. Mark your calendars for their April 2010 conference; it will be here before you know it!

May is Asian Pacific Month and I have found some wonderful sites for you to use in celebration. I would be remiss if I didn’t also include sites to honor Mother’s Day, Mother Goose and the return of the beautiful birds. To give you a headstart on June, there are also links for Father’s Day and Flag Day.

I have also added something new this month thanks to my good friend Jackie Baldwin, owner of (not to be missed!). I was sharing a few smile-filled anecdotes, courtesy of my charming storytelling students, and she suggested I add a section in the newsletter to share them with all of you. I am never one to turn away from a great idea and so the Kids’ Corner was born. Thanks Jackie!

The monthly Story CafĂ© series at ArtWorks! in New Bedford, MA (USA) is still going strong. On May 1, 2009 we were treated to “Stories from the Table” by Massachusetts teller Andrea Lovett. She was pure delight. The audience roared with laughter; she was a hit! Be sure to catch her anytime you have the opportunity, you won’t be disappointed!

On June 20, 2009 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. we are honored to host two-time Grammy Award winner, musician, author and storyteller Bill Harley sharing his brand new show, "Risk is Not for Lovers.” This is for an adult audience, ages 18 and up. Tickets are already on sale and seating will be limited: call (508) 984-1588. It is sure to be a thought-provoking, fun-filled evening of music, song and story. I hope you can join us.

See you on the storytelling road!


The Real Mother Goose - May 1 is Mother Goose Day! Here is the original 1916 edition, now available online.

Spring flies to us on the wings of birds. Some folktales to honor these beautiful creatures.

How the King of Birds Was Chosen: and other Mayan folk tales:

King of the Birds

The Language of the Birds

May is Asian-Pacific Heritage Month so I offer you some story sites to celebrate some of the cultures associated with the celebration.

Hawaiian Legends of Old Honolulu - From 1915 and Sacred Texts 25 legends from beautiful Hawaii.

Cambodian Folktales - Four folktales retold; the main site also offers information on the history, people and culture of Cambodia.

Chinese Fable Stories

Folktales from Japan

Indigenous Australia - Explore Indigenous Australia. The site offers audio and video clips of stories through storytelling, cultures and histories, teacher resources and more.

Pitara for Kids - Many fables from the Panchatantra and Aesop, Jataka stories and tales from India's tribal people.

“The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost
and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.”
                                                  - Harold Goddard


I was coaching one of my student storytellers last week; he is telling the Aesop Fable, The Shepherd’s Boy. I asked him to describe the sheep in the story. This is what he spontaneously said, “The sheep were as black as Halloween night.” Fabulous imagery!


June 14 is Flag Day. Here are two sites to help your students learn more about this American icon.

The Betsy Ross Story - Truth or Legend This lesson plan targets the Arts & Humanities and Social Studies for grades 3-12.

Stars and Stripes Forever: Flag Facts for Flag Day - “Did you know that the original Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the phrase "of America"? In 1923, the words were added to avoid confusion among immigrants as to which country they were pledging their allegiance!” Your students will learn this and much more with this lesson plan on Betsy Ross from

The Betsy Ross Homepage - Learn the history of the flag and tour her home, all without leaving your seat.

Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month with the help of these websites. - Lesson plans from K-12.

Edsitement - Take a trip to Asia with lesson plans and lesson plans on haiku, the Chinese Zodiac, Angkor Wat, haiku, the Chinese zodiac,and more.

Hummingbird Educational Resources - So many things, lesson plans, crafts, recipes, and songs about butterflies, you will be fluttering around the room in no time at all!

"Learning is like rowing upstream:
not to advance is to drop back."
                                - Chinese proverb


May 16, 2009
"Heard the News Today?" with Lee-Ellen Marvin in Easthampton, MA. Intensive for intermediate and experienced storytellers. Find a story in the morning newspaper, research it, develop the images, and perform it the same evening. Contact Lee-Ellen Marvin, or call 607-273-2049.

May 23, 2009
Me, Myself and I: the Art of Personal Narrative with Elizabeth Ellis. A day long intensive for intermediate and advanced tellers in Aurora, IL. Crafting personal stories for effective telling can be a challenge. Learn to lift yours to a more satisfying artistic level. Space is limited. For further information contact Donna Dettman at

May 30 – 31, 2009
The Washington Folk Festival May 30th and 31st at Glen Echo Park in Montgomery County Maryland. Noon to 7:00.Music, dancing, and storytelling.

June 7, 2009
"Listening and Telling: The Art of Gathering and Performing Oral History" in Atlanta Georgia. Through practice interviews and exercises participants will learn how to use their skills to conduct powerful interviews that generate stories. Contact Jo at

June 11-14, 2009
ETSU: Summer Institute: Storytelling and the Art of Performance with Bill Harley - Successful performers use their particular talents not just to demonstrate prowess, but to communicate with the audience. Group and solo improvisation and theater exercises, readings, and video will be used to foster an understanding of the special relationship between the performer and the audience. Information: 423-439-7601 (until 6/1) or 423-439-7606

June 19 – June 20, 2009
National Christian Storytelling Conference in Normal, IL. Storytellers from seven states will participate in this conference. Additional information:

June 19 – 21, 2009
Emmy award winning storyteller and author Jim May conducts storytelling/writing workshop-retreats each year in Alden, Illinois (near Chicago) and Oaxaca, Mexico. There is space available in his summer solstice weekend in Alden. For more info contact Jim at

June 22-25, 2009
Telling Stories to Children with Judith Black in Marblehead, MA. Morning workshops, afternoon coaching, telling to authentic children, good food and informal gatherings shape these days. Massachusetts PDPs offered. For more information contact Judith Black at or phone: 781-631-4417

June 27, 2009
A Gathering of Storytellers in Rochester NY at Visual Studies workshop at 31 Prince St. Workshops during the day, story swaps, and an evening performance. Contact Mike Rickert at (585)544-8422 or

June 27 - July 3, 2009
Storytellers Wild Week at Wildacres Retreat Center, Little Switzerland, NC. With Donna Marie Todd presenting "Vocal Training for Storytellers" along with "Improving Your Storytelling" sessions led by Dianne Hackworth. Contact Dianne 865-457-3392 or or


Spring brings warm weather, flowers, birds and bugs! Here are some crafts to help you welcome spring!

Two great “for the birds” crafts.
Happy Feather’s Day -
Easy Bird Feeder -

Bug Jars - Children will learn to look at the details of bugs and plants as they learn about symmetry and asymmetry. This is a craft and lesson plan all in one!

Honor Mom and Dad with these great crafts! - Crafts and gifts to make for Mom including Mother's Day, May, Arts and Crafts Activities, Lessons, Coloring Pages, Ideas, Recipes and Treats.

DLTK.COM - Lots of things to make that special man smile on Father’s Day: Crafts, poems, printables, recipes and songs!

Honor the United States flag with these crafts: - It was said that Betsy Ross could cut a five pointed star in one snip of the scissors. Learn how to make your own star the same way.

Enchanted Learning - Crafts and Activities for Flag Day.

Celebrate Asian-Pacific Heritage Month with these two crafts.

Make A Hawaiian Lei Flower Necklace

New Zealand Koru Art - “The koru is the Maori name given to the new unfurling fern frond and symbolizes new life, growth, strength and peace. It is an integral symbol in Maori carving and tattoos.”


It’s as easy as one, two three…

3 Types of Marketing to Make Your Business Grow - Effective “attraction tactics” to help your business soar!

Ten Ways to Make Your Flyer Stand Out In a Crowd - A flyer is an inexpensive and highly effective way to grab attention in a very busy marketplace. How do you make your flyer stand out in the crowd? Here are some techniques that professional designers use to make flyers "pop."

12 Ways to Attract clients with Your Business Card - Twelve ways to assure that prospects will read your card, and will become more likely to do business with you.

Business Blogging Benefits and Risks - “Some experts say that Twitter is replacing blogs, but …there are many blog functions that Tweets can’t perform – such as any kind of meaningful discussion about anything.”


"I have found that among its other benefits,
giving liberates the soul of the giver."
                                      - Maya Angelou

Global Action for Children is a nonpartisan, results-oriented organization dedicated to advocates for orphans and vulnerable children in the developing world.