This page contains an outline of the agenda for the presentation Cherice Montgomery gave for the FLENJ Professional Development Series on December 9, 2011 in New Jersey.


  • Presenter
  • Audience (Levels)
  • Audience (Languages)
  • Awareness, exploration, experimentation--not mastery!
  • Logistics (personal needs, questions, parking lot)
  • Wiki Overview
  • Password List Instructions
    • Choose a username
    • Decide on an e-mail (junk e-mail?)
    • Think of at least one password


Why stories?

Stories Convey Culture - Tell a partner about some of the cultural products, practices, and perspectives that are embedded in (or missing from) the activities and culturally authentic materials you use in your classroom.

Stories Reflect Understanding - Do you think your students see themselves reflected in the stories you tell in your classroom?

Single Stories Eliminate Possibilities - Tell a partner about a time when someone else interpreted you through the framework of a single story

Power Is The Ability to Determine & Define the Story of Another Person - Tell a partner about a time when someone started the story of a group of people you know "in the wrong place"

Stories Convey Stereotypes & Shape Identity - Give your partner a list of three bullet points that encapsulate the stories that have been most important in forming who you are and how you experience the world. OR Tell about a time when someone "flattened your experience" by viewing or interpreting you through the lens of a stereotype.

We Must Tell Multiple Stories In Order for Them to be Complete - Tell a partner some ways you achieve "a balance of stories" when discussing different cultures in your classroom.

What does the research say about learning, literacy, and transliteracy?

Key Concepts & Principles

Stories are like . . . .

  • "Story, as a pattern, is a powerful way of organizing and sharing individual experience and exploring and co-creating shared realities" (CoIntelligenceInstitute.gif, 2003)
  • Good stories have rich layers of meaning . . .
  • Good stories reframe our perspectives
  • Good stories move and motivate us--transforming us
  • Stories reduce cognitive load
  • Concepts trump content
  • Stories convey important disciplinary concepts and social issues
  • Aesthetic considerations and rhetorical strategies are important parts of storytelling
  • Representing conceptual content assists students in internalizing it
  • Producing stories = creativity, critical thinking, and self-expression

TASK 1: Why storytelling?



1) Select photo or right click and save this one: CrazyBaby1359713_36501746SXC.jpg[1]
2) Crop photo
3) Place mouth
4) Record voice:

  • My name is . . . .
  • The reason I am interested in storytelling is . . . .
  • I am taking this workshop because . . . .
5) Use PREVIEW to share with a partner (you have to register first to save it).

Interpretive Communication: Reading Stories

Ways to Read a Story

TASK 2: Tell an existing story

Reading Strategies

Text: Two Women

Lesson Plan from CARLA
Lesson Plan from Teaching Tolerance

AudacityLogo.jpgOR VocarooLogo.gif



PicLit from



1) Open the presentation
2) Add an image
3) Add a quote
Possibility.jpg DivinePaint.jpg CalledHome.jpg Balance.jpg




  • Teaching Methods - Circling
    Using questions in the world language classroom is an effective way to engage learners, check for understanding, and personalize the language - and of course, communicate! By using a variety of questions, students continuously hear target language input and are making meaning of the questions they hear.

    Questions can take a variety of formats:
    yes/no (Is Juan sad? Yes)
    either/or (Is Juan sad or happy? Sad)
    one word answers (Who is sad? Juan; Juan is . Sad)

    Questions can be personalized:
    Are you sad?
    Are you happy or sad?
    Who is sad? Who is happy?

    Here is a sample story:

    Here is a sample circling worksheet which will provide an idea of the variety of questions that can be asked, and how the questions can be varied.

Interpersonal Communication: Sharing Stories

What makes these "good" stories? How might you incorporate such characteristics into a rubric?

What does this story teach us about the characteristics of a good story? How does might this story be transformative in the lives of your students? W
hat kinds of "talking" tasks might you give students to complete during these videos?

  • Giving Instructions
  • Scaffolding
  • Pronunciation (YouTube Video)
  • Reading with Expression (Tone Carries Meaning)
  • Strategies
    • Circle Stories
    • Clone Stories
    • Describe & Draw
    • Flipbooks
    • Foldables
    • Flannel Panels
    • Fractured Fairy Tales
    • Phraselets (Richard Ladd)
    • Pop-up Books
    • Skit Sacks
    • Smoosh Books
    • Story Squares
    • Tech-infused Options: (Audacity, cell phones, pocket video cameras)

Presentational Communication: Creating Stories

Scaffolding the Writing Process

  • Graphic Prompts
  • Story Starters
  • Interactive Brainstorming
    • Jigsaw (Elise Williams)
    • Signature Search (Travis Moss)
    • Snowballs (Corey Dalton)
    • Videos

Task: Use your Cell Phone or Flip Camera to make a video in which you and your group each tell your sentence

Crafting Creative Stories

Low Tech Options
  • Cell Phones
  • Circle Stories
  • Clone Stories
  • Flipbooks
  • Pocket video Cameras
  • Pop-up Books
  • Smoosh Books
  • Twitter Fiction
Tech Tools


GoAnimateNewLogo.jpg - Create animated videos

LittleBirdTalesLogo.jpg -




  • La famille - Slideshow that uses possessive adjectives, family vocab., and famous people to create a fictional family in French
  • Fotos del espacio - Slideshow of photos of black holes, supernovas, etc., labeled in Spanish
  • Polar Bear Quiz - Interactive quiz about polar bears and their habitat
  • ¿Vida o sida? - Slideshow about AIDS in Spanish (note, some images may not be suitable for classroom use
  • Y ahora . . . qué? - Slideshow about aging in Spanish

ScrapblogLogo.jpg - Only available until 2-28-11, then it will become part of Mixbook

StorybirdLogo.gif - Storybird - An AWESOME site allows students to choose artwork from real children's book artists for their stories. In order to get diacritical marks into the text, students will need to type their stories in Word, then copy and paste into the text boxes (See Spanish examples here)

VokiLogo.jpg - Create your own talking avatars and manage classroom accounts

WeeblyLogo.gif - Create your own website from beautiful drag-and-drop templates

XtranormalNewLogo.jpg - Create movies


Closure & Evaluation

Stories Matter - In what ways have stories mattered to you in your life?

Single Stories Oversimplify - How might you use digital storytelling in your classroom to "regain a kind of paradise?"
  1. ^ Mokra. (2011, August 5). Crazy baby. Stock Xchng. Retrieved June 2, 2012, from