Residencies and Workshops for Children


"Why tell and teach stories as the basis for all language and writing development?

Because they work better than other narrative forms.

Why do they work so well?

Because that is how human brains are wired to think."

--Kendall Haven, Story Proof

What the Children Say


"Mrs. Stenson is a special person and a published author who writes books on storytelling. She comes in every Tuesday and tells us a folktale. We are each studying a story to tell to the kindergartners. The fourth grade has never seen a better storyteller."

Washington School, Evanston, IL

What the Teachers Say


"I was thoroughly impressed with how some of them did not do so well on their quarterly reading inventory in the retelling section and then during these two days with you they suddenly nailed it!"

Rebecca Thieme-Baesman, Valley View School. Aswaubenon, WI

The Puppet Project

Grades K-2:

Let's experience (learn) folktale structure by having children create three puppets (protagonist, antagonist and helper puppet) and create a story for them.  Each child will 'tell' the puppet story to other children ... and the grand finale – tell the story to their families.

Six days, once a week for six weeks


Learning to "TELL" a Story

Grades 2-5:

Let's review (learn) folktale structure, play storytelling games, practice public speaking, and tell a 5 to 7 minute folktale to younger children in the school.

Six days, once a week for six weeks
[An excellent way to support a study of immigration is by learning to tell a story.  Students can learn a folktale from one of their dominant cultures to tell to younger children or a family gathering. Learning folktale structure supports all writing activity.]


The Three Pigs, Revisited: A Geography/Storytelling Project!

Grades 2-4, or Grades 5-7:

Examining "The Three Little Pigs" which is set in a temperate climate, I ask students to change the setting and create a "new" story to tell.  This requires research and imagination and telling. We will explore the geography standards together.

Four or Five days, depending on age group