January/February 2010

Happy New Year to all!

If you are a new subscriber or missed the last newsletter I have changed the publishing format from monthly to every two months. There are lots of stories and activities in this issue to help warm you through the winter months. You will find that I have included links relevant to the months of January and February so you have a head start on Mardi Gras, the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day as well.

2010 will be full of fun. In March I will present my workshop Story by Story: Building a School Storytelling Troupe at the Sharing the Fire: Northeast Storytelling Conference in Rhode Island. In April I will present Untangling the Web: Researching Stories on the Internet at the Northlands Storytelling Conference in Wisconsin, and July will find me participating in a panel discussion on Storytelling, Education and Children at the Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada in Newfoundland. I hope to meet you along the way.

The 2010 Story Café calendar at ArtWorks in New Bedford, MA is up on my personal blog at http://tinyurl.com/yarau77. We have an amazing line-up of storytellers from around the world so take a look and mark your calendars. I hope you can join us for one or more of these fantastic events! You can even take your turn at the open mic portion of the evening. Another talented group of storytelling friends kicked off the Massmouth Story Slam in October and it became and instant hit! For all of the latest information on the upcoming Story Slams visit Massmouth.

My storytelling colleague Bern Budd has begun his own adult storytelling venue at The Vine: European Wine Bar and Café in Plymouth, MA. On January 19, 2010 I will be the featured teller sharing tales of Wine, Women and Wisdom. Please stop by and step into the magic of “Long ago and far away...”

As always, I would love to hear from you. See something you like that was helpful to you? Drop me an email at storybug@aol.com and let me know if I am on the right track. Is something missing? Please let me know what else might help make your work a bit easier. Suggestions are always welcome.

I hope the holiday season was filled with wonder and joy for all of you surrounded by friends, family, loved ones, and those who love you! Thank you for beginning the New Year with me and May 2010 bring you blessings, health and abundance. See you in March!


Image: The Lady of Stavoren by Lillian Shepard http://tinyurl.com/ye65hhu%20

“The story was the bushman’s most sacred possession. These people knew what we do not; that without a story you have not got a nation, or culture, or civilization. Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own.”
Laurens Van der Post


The winter is definitely upon us so I offer you some tales from the north!

Russian Wonder Tales by Post Wheeler, 1921 http://tinyurl.com/yesflsv

Folklore and Legends: Scandinavian - Translated by C.J.T. circa 1890. Download this public domain book for free. http://tinyurl.com/yzbz7kv

The Heroes of Asgard: tales from Scandinavian Mythology by A & E Keary 1900 http://tinyurl.com/ybpwyhj

Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, ‘Western Slavs, and Magyars by Jermiah Curtin 1903 http://tinyurl.com/yzdmjkd

Story-Lovers.com - Jackie Baldwin shares a compliation of books, resources and stories on winter and the winter solstice. http://tinyurl.com/yjwq354

February also ushers in Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

American Folklore: Louisiana - Meet Foolish John, a riverboat captain and opossum in these three delightful tales. http://tinyurl.com/3us4w4

Louisiana Folk-tales - A downloadable book of public domain folktales by Alcée Fortier shared in both French Dialect and English Translation. http://tinyurl.com/yjydcue

We couldn’t greet February without some tales love and longing.

The Lady of Stavoren - A Dutch legend retold and adapted by Aaron Shepherd. http://tinyurl.com/4y5zpg

Classic Love Stories http://tinyurl.com/ydnnpbq

Love, Lore and Legends - Brief particulars associated with Cupid’s arrow. http://tinyurl.com/3udzhk

Storybug.net - February 14 is not only Valentine’s Day but also the start of the Chinese New Year . 2010 is the Year of the Tiger and I have but together some terrific tiger tales from around the world on my blog at http://tinyurl.com/ylxdd5l

You can also find the legend of the Chinese calendar along with additional information on the celebration from my 2008 blog post at http://tinyurl.com/yfqejbk


What would winter be without snow? Is your climate too warm? No worries, make your own with this lovely craft.

HighHopes.com - Step by step instructions on how to cut a beautiful paper snowflake. http://highhopes.com/snowflakes.html

How Stuff Works.com - Lots of outdoor and inside activities to fill a snow day with fun! http://tinyurl.com/yjuu3y6

Get the Chinese New Year roarrrrring with these fun tiger crafts!

Jungle Tiger Activities
Tiger Mask to Cut and Color

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so why not share a piece of your heart with these crafts.

Lots of easy crafts to make your heart flutter for Valentine’s Day.

Educational Valentine’s Day Crafts

We can’t forget Mardi Gras! Join the fun with these activities.

Celebrate Fat Tuesday


New Year’s Around the World - This unit covers five distinctly different New Year’s traditions. http://ted.coe.wayne.edu/sse/units/newyr.htm

Mardi Gras - Filled with information on the traditions of Mari Gras, included the Krewes, parade, the King Cake, music and more. http://tinyurl.com/ygmsutc

Chinese New Year 2010 - Year of the Tiger for Southeast Asians & other newcomers in California’s classrooms. This pdf file from California is chock full of information, proverbs and stories to help you safely navigate the year of the tiger. http://tinyurl.com/yc6e54x

Teachable Moments - A heart activity and story for February that can be adapted for any age. “It encourages students to consider the effect of “put-downs” and to think about how to express “put-ups.” http://tinyurl.com/ybljjy2

Massachusetts Day - February 6 celebrates my state so of course I have to include! Here is a comprehensive study unit to help you find your way around the Bay State, including my favorite, The Ladybug Story! http://tinyurl.com/yeyoxp9

Black History - Past to Present: An Interactive Treasure Hunt – Your students will learn a lot by reading interesting articles then answering the questions. There are a number of resource links to help your students along the way. http://tinyurl.com/y9rd7wh

Groundhog Day Activity Sheet

If Pawksatawny Phil gives us six more weeks of winter have some fun with these lesson plans.

Ready for science?
“Flakes of Snow” Crystals: Grade 2 http://tinyurl.com/yjc4grr

Cooperative Snowmen Bulletin Board - K-3 http://tinyurl.com/yze69yp

What do animals do in winter?
Help your students find out! Grade2-3 http://tinyurl.com/yk6447w

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked
me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

Henry David Thoreau


Winter Songs to entertain the wee ones.

Action, Participation, Movement Songs for Kids
Children’s Song Lyrics and Sound Clips http://tinyurl.com/y9a9a7s

Songs to celebrate Groundhog Day!


Empowering Children to Help Stop Bullying at School by Carol Wintle. http://tinyurl.com/yapszhn

Stories on the Move: Integrating Literature and Movement with Children, from Infants to Age 14
by Arlene Cohen. Libraries Unlimited, 2007. http://tinyurl.com/yagy9ps


Dead or Dying PR Tactics by Steve Mullen http://tinyurl.com/cg23j6

Five Tips to Organize Your Home Office by Kirsten M. Lagatree http://tinyurl.com/ktkvnb

How To Make A Strong First Impression by Bill Lampton http://tinyurl.com/n6pxss

No - Just Say It! by Claire Shipman & Katty Kay http://tinyurl.com/ltzmyr

Online Manners: Using Good Netiquette by Buzzle.com  http://tinyurl.com/y8somtq

Organizing Your Home Office - Tips to guarding your productivity and setting realistic office hours. http://tinyurl.com/y9qxkrd

Seven Easy Ways to Stop Procrastinating - I think the title says it all. Get going! http://tinyurl.com/y9bqghg


January 17, 2010 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
4th Annual Twin Cities Storyfest, Joining Voices under the Winter Moon. Fresh from winning the 2009 Storytelling World Award, Cygnus Storytellers will tell great stories! Special pre-concert performance by the Just Showed Up Band from the University of St. Thomas. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 East 31st St. Minneapolis, MN http://www.storyswans.com/ or 612-724-7074

February 22-24, 2010 – Ogden, Utah
Leeny Del Seamonds will be headliner at Weber State University Storytelling Festival along with Donald Davis, Beauty and the Beast, and Patrick Ball. http://community.weber.edu/storytelling/welcome

March 28 - April 3, 2010 Oaxaca, Mexico
Annual Oaxaca Storytelling Retreat and Cultural tour with Jim May with an opportunity to witness Oaxaca’s traditional Holy Week (Santa Semana) celebration, one of the most important street ritual events in all of Latin America. We workshop til 1:00 P.M. each day and spend the rest of the day with optional visits to museums, ruins, cafés, galleries, markets, or rest. Contact Jim May at maystory@earthlink.net

April 23 – 25, 2010 – Green Lake, Wisconsin
Northlands Storytelling Network Conference Come to the Midwest for a weekend filled with workshops, swaps, concerts and fringe performances all in a beautiful, rural setting. http://www.northlands.net/conference.html

March 19 – 21, 2010 Warwick, Rhode Island
Sharing the Fire/The Northeast Storytelling Workshops focused on using storytelling in a wide variety of settings. A preconference on Therapeutic Storytelling and Storytelling in Education is offered as well. http://www.lanes.org/

April 28 - May 1, 2010 – St. Louis, Missouri
Leeny Del Seamonds will be headliner at St. Louis Storytelling Festival in Missouri, along with Bil Lepp, Peter Cook, Gene Tagaban, Regi Carpenter, and Larry Brown. http://www.stlstorytellingfestival.org/

May 19-23, 2010 – Greensboro, North Carolina
Storyfest featuring Leeny Del Seamonds along with The Healing Force and Logie Meachum. http://www.ncstoryfest.org/


“One kind word can warm three winter months.”
Japanese Proverb

Another Mother for Peace - A non-profit, non-partisan association dedication to eliminating the use of war as a means of solving disputes among nations, people and ideologies. http://www.anothermother.org/