Kudos for Crooked Door Storytelling

"Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us and share your talents and profession with us. Your stories were both intriguing and inspiring." Sophomore Class of 2017, The Latin School of Chicago

"Your stories were mesmerizing and the students were truly captivated. Storytelling is truly an art many students do not encounter frequently. Each tale added greatly to our cultural understandings." Liz Raser, Morgan Park Academy, 2nd grade teacher, Curriculum Leader, Elementary Division

"Your Kamishibai presentation was delightful and the feedback from those who attended both of your sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. You inspired some to try telling storytelling and many commented how much they enjoyed learning about Kamishibai." JoAnn Dent, Co-chair & Founder, Sheboygan Children's Book Festival; Librarian; Literacy Professional

"Thank you for all the wonderful stories you tell us every time we go to class. Thanks for being here with us." Eighth grade student from "Art and Elements of Storytelling" in-school workshop 

"The children were so enthralled and involved in Mrs. Waller's storytelling. After the fairy tales, the students were able to make many text-to-text connections to their fairy tale study." Louise Larsen, grade 3 teacher, Northside Catholic Academy, Chicago, on "Once and Long Ago Stories"

"Genevieve breathed life into the stories she told my students. It changed the whole direction of the class for the better. The students were more interested, more engaged and more excited about the genre we were working on after listening to Genevieve weave her magic." Peggy Rios, Chicago Public Schools primary-grade teacher, on "Scary Stories"


For more information, or to arrange a storytelling program affordably tailored to your needs, contact:

Genevieve K. Waller at 773.330.8086 or gkswaller@crookeddoorstorytelling.com

Storytelling in Education

Oral storytelling plays an important role in helping students meet goals recently established for arts instruction, learning standards and Common Core preparedness. Storytelling programs also support the growing attention and emphasis given to Social Emotional Learning. Below, discover how Crooked Door Storytelling programs enhance and complement current efforts by education leaders, program administrators, teachers, parents and academic partners to engage and develop creative, caring learners and skilled communicators in the 21st century. Storytelling helps achieve goals for the Chicago Public Schools' Arts Education Plan; Illinois Learning Standards in Fine Arts and National Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.*

(*These links provide comprehensive information about city, state and national standards.) 

Goals of Chicago Public Schools' Arts Education Plan, preK-12

In November 2012, Chicago's Board of Education approved a three-year plan to expand access to quality Arts Education to all its students. Oral storytelling programs help achieve the plan's goals, as exposure to and instruction in storytelling has been shown to: increase subject comprehension and literacy; improve critical thinking, writing and speaking skills, and spark creativity – key work and life skills. Additionally, by integrating storytelling programs in a variety of subject, educators:  

  • capture students’ attention and enhance classroom instruction across the arts at all grade levels.
  • support speaking, listening and language Common Core goals in English Language Arts, Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. 
  • enable teachers, parents, administrators and arts partners to approach and present integrated arts curriculum content in fresh, affordable and innovative ways.
  • draw connections to and among the world’s cultures, countries and traditions – past and present – to increase students’ understanding, awareness and appreciation of themselves and each other.
  • effectively use data (questionnaires, rubric evaluations and verbal assessments) so that teachers can measure the success of class content and improve on their curricula; students learn how to constructively critique performances – their own and by their peers – to improve their communication skills.

Goals of Illinois Learning Standards in Fine Arts, Illinois Theater Standards, preK-12 

These longstanding standards promote the language, sense and expression of the arts in singular and integrated forms, with the goal that students come to understand these elements and the important role the arts play in life. With these goals in mind, storytelling programs: 

  • help students explore the elements of artistic communication – voice, gesture, tone, movement, description and interaction – through the repeated practice of learning, telling and listening to stories. Students come to understand storytelling is a unique field of artistic expression.
  • explore with students the elements necessary for effective storytelling, encourage the creation of original material or adaptation of traditional material and support the development of each student’s unique voice and style through individual performance that may incorporate other mediums such as visual arts or music.
  • demonstrate how stories have been used for ages by all people to teach, to entertain, to persuade, to celebrate, to inform, to remember. Students learn the ongoing value placed on storytelling by countries, cultures and peoples throughout human history and understand that they, too, have a vital role to play in preserving and nurturing these traditions.

Goals of Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, K-12.

A February 2014 article in U.S. News & World Report outlined the history of this controversial initiative that aims to increase student achievement by implementing a national standard of goals and curricula in most subject areas. Mindful of criticisms, but recognizing that these are the current national educational standards for K-12 students, storytelling programs provide ample opportunity for educational growth as students work alone or in groups by:

  • motivating students to creatively communicate a spoken narrative that affects and resonates with listeners.
  • engaging students to research, develop and present oral communication – using traditional art forms as well as technology such as digital storytelling – that clearly imparts information in ways that involve and teach listeners.
  • challenging and instructing students how to develop written strategies that will support their goal of clearly presenting spoken information to listeners in a compelling and comprehendable way.
  • encouraging students to explore and learn, through writing and speech, the power of language and vocabulary as they prepare to tell and show stories to a listening audience.
  • enhancing students’ public speaking abilities and foster clear communication skills by offering them to interact with and present stories from different genres in front of an audience.