Sometimes I Teach

A little over ten years ago I was employed in one of my favorite jobs to date- school library manager.

Through my position, I was able to encourage more young readers, and on occasion, worked on collaborative story creation with them.  We created shared worlds inspired by what they were learning in class, and after school, I led a small shared world writing workshop (as well as a kids’ NaNoWriMo and other book-connected events, but that’s a story for another time).

It’s the collaborative and shared writing times that I enjoy most.  Working with the group on a shared theme, or simply writing at the same time, modelling the practice of writing- including stumbling blocks and changing my mind (or is it the story leading me elsewhere?) gives me great joy, and sometimes leads to stronger writing.

In the last few years, I have been able to bring that love of writing to a new group of kids through after school workshops at our local school (my own pay-it-forward project, I never charge a fee for this group).  I dubbed the most recent incarnation “Stone Soup Storytellers”, and we created an All-School play with adapted folktales, including Stone Soup, of course.

Most recently, I brought back the theme of Stone Soup and adaptation for a POV workshop with our Uppers students (grade 4-6, some of whom happened to have originally worked on the Stone Soup adaptation), and with our school adaptation of Into the Woods coming up, we’ve been focusing on fairy tales as our inspiration.  With our Middles (grade 2-3) I simply chose randomizers- but since this is me, my writing took a bit of a folktale path.

I present below *my* stories- may they entertain and inspire your own words.

(Feel free to use the images and links in this post as inspiration and share your own tales in the comments!)

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There is a beautiful tradition at my son’s school involving the gift of a stone that everyone has held and put their loving thoughts into. This is my Stone, gifted to me after our production of Stone Soup Stranger. I carry it with me always, and I always shall.

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What Are Little Girls Made Of? Or Arts and Sciences Make the Muse

(This was an article I wrote as part of a series of con-reports for 201mass.com after attending Boskone 40.  I wrote it mostly in response to Jim Patrick Kelly’s article “Kid Stuff”.  I wrote about how I found my way to sci-fi-fantasy, and I’d like to both update & revisit my views- updating with where my sci-fi/fantasy interests have led since I wrote this, and then revisit with my latest blending/adaptation of fairy tales & folklore with regards to homesteading and sustainability.  Some of the links may still work- I’ll update what I can- but this is more to give you an idea of where I was back in 2003.   Sadly, I did not get to work on youth programming with Boskone, but did go on to work in a school library where I used some of my ideas.)

What Are Little Girls Made Of? Or Arts and Sciences Make the Muse
By Kerrie A. Colantonio

(Please note: some names have been withheld to protect… me.)

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