Learning in the Making: Storytelling

Everyone has stories to tell. These stories could be true or could come entirely from your imagination. Who are the characters? What world do they live in? What challenges do they face? Authors have the power to share their vision of a different world. Storytelling also connects us to our history and our ancestors. By creating stories we help other people see different ways of living. In our activities over the next two weeks, we will engage in some imaginative world making — where we will create fantastic characters and settings that expand our imagination of what is possible and what is important. 

Follow along with us in the video below, as we talk about developing characters, building a world (the setting for the story), and telling the story itself (the narrative). In the first video we will discuss character and setting, in the second we will develop the story. Many thanks to guest educator Ariel Marchante Ortiz for sharing her knowledge with us! 

To create your own character and story, you will need: 

  • Paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Possible Media: Comic, Animation, Video, Play, Spoken word

Once you’ve watched Part 1 and created your characters, check out Part 2 of our storytelling series, where we will use our kickbutt characters to tell fantastical stories:

Learning in the Making: Storytelling
Project Guide in English
Guía de proyecto en Español

Looking for additional inspiration? Check out these resources:

  • Watch The Danger of a Single Story: “Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”
  • Cartoonist Ronald Wimberly talks about the color used to represent skin in: Lighten Up
  • Watch Native American Oral Storytelling & History: “Through this initiative we share the history of our people in their voice, as seen through their eyes. We focus on everyday lives of Choctaws through pivotal moments in history, exploring topics such as the Civil Rights movement, boarding school initiatives, and relocation efforts. We gather oral accounts of what it was like to be Native American through these times, from the stories that make us unique as a people to the everyday activities that universally bind all of us to one another. We use technology to preserve and share our unique story and wisdom that has come from these encounters.”
  • Read about the work of Ruth Miller: Life-sized storytelling in stitch: “Ruth Miller cares as much about the narratives of her work as she does the actual images themselves. She’s committed to telling stories about the joys and challenges of daily life, especially for those living in African-American communities.”
  • Learn about character development through Khan Academy and Pixar

We want to see your projects! After the livestream, we encourage you to post your character or story on Twitter or Instagram. Tag us @MakerEdOrg with #MakerEdAtHome and #storytelling

Learning in the Making: LIVE! is an online video series designed to support educators and families with accessible hands-on learning experiences. This work is part of our focus on supporting remote learning in various environments. (To learn more, read this blog post about our work during shelter-in-place measures in 2020.) 

Each week, we are hosting a live making activity on our YouTube channel and sharing related resources on our blog. 

We are so excited to support hands-on learning as educators, caregivers, and young learners shift to distance learning, and we need your support! Donate today so we can keep going. 



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