Professional Storyteller

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Looking forward to telling stories in a self-contained special education classroom.

Going to observe tomorrow and tell next week. Is there anyone else with experience in this setting with tips for me?

Tags: Education, Self-contained, Special, classroom

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Replies to This Discussion


All my storytelling work is with children and adults with special needs.  What are your questions/concerns?  How old are the students? 

One of the nice things about telling in these classrooms is that there is generally more staff available.  Make it clear to the teacher and the staff that you will need them to stay engaged, to model good audience behavior (sometimes they take advantage of this much-needed "break" to chat and get paperwork done) but you need them.  You need them to -- as I've said, model good audience behavior -- but also to help intervene if a student needs to leave the group due to behaviors, over-stimulation, etc.

Depending on the age and cognitive abilities of you audience, keep you stories short and simple.  Repetitive, rhythmic stories work well.  Longer, more, plot-heavy stories may be difficult for your audience to follow.

Please feel free to contact me at if you have specific questions.

Gwen, thanks for the input. My observation tomorrow will confirm the abilities of the group. I am planning on telling a short story and then letting them develop a Story Map in small groups to identify beginning, middle, and end. The teacher says there are 15 students with different needs but first grade is a general target level. One goal is to touch Language Arts Standards.

I want to find out how the students transition to small groups.


I belong to a group of 14 teachers who work with SEN children..we only teach English as a econd language through stories and Drama techniques.. everything must be simple and easy, with a lot o visual there is no frustration in the audience..noises ..and colourful props!!

We belong to the Ministry of Education , Buenos Aires Argentina.Only ipprogramme in the world!1 WE have been doing this for the last 4 years..good results but have made several mistakes on the way...We have learnt by doing because there is not much about this..

I once told stories to a group of children  with Down Syndrom  .I told stories in Spanish..their mother tongue.And I discovered taht they enjoyed and understood the stories I chose because there was  alot of body language ...some visual aid and onomatopoeia.

Any more help?'just ask!!




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