Do You Have a Story To Tell?

April 27th is National Tell a Story Day!

National Tell a Story Day is all about stories and what they mean to us. Storytelling can be a great way to pass on family and cultural traditions, learn important skills and lessons, or let your imagination run wild with new, exciting worlds and the characters in them. Spending time together as we tell these stories also provides children the opportunity to connect with family and friends in a deep and meaningful way, leaving lasting memories.

Celebrate this fun-filled day by sharing a special story from one from your favorite books, telling a story of your own (did it really happen or is it made-up?), or listening to a new one from someone in your community. And remember, stories can take many forms. They can be written down in books or plays, sung as a ballad, drawn as pictures, or passed down from person to person through oral traditions, just to name a few – each one an important way of sharing information.

Learn new techniques to develop your storytelling skills, and enjoy the videos, activities and games below in celebration of National Storytelling Day!

What story will you tell today, and how will you tell it?

The Art & Power of Storytelling

What Is Storytelling | Young Explorers

Grades PreK-2
Abby Brown loves to help kids have fun while learning! In this segment, Abby teaches kids about storytelling. Whether you’re sharing about your recent adventures, entertaining your friends, or telling a cautionary tale, everyone has a story to tell!

Using Stories to Nurture Your Child’s Identity

Grades PreK-3
The process of forming one’s identity begins as a toddler. Stories and picture books are great ways to help children learn more about themselves and the world around them.

Great Adventures Start with a Story

Grades PreK-3
Just like Clifford and Emily Elizabeth in Clifford the Big Red Dog, parents and young children can be inspired by books and stories to go on grand adventures.

A World of Stories Collection

Grades PreK-12
Storytelling has been used as entertainment, cultural preservation, and a way to teach values. Stories are typically told orally and passed down from generation to generation. This collection contains stories from around the world.

The Power of Storytelling

Grades 4-12
Storyteller Anndrena Belcher discusses the relevance of storytelling today. She explains why people should learn their family stories.

Jad Abumrad, Radio Host and Producer | MacArthur Fellows Program

Grades 6-12
In this interview, 2011 MacArthur Fellow Jad Abumrad discusses the power of storytelling to engage new audiences in explorations of scientific and philosophical questions. As co-host and producer of the nationally syndicated program Radiolab, Abumrad integrates his background as a composer to orchestrate dialogue, music, and sound effects into compelling documentaries. Abumrad is inspiring curiosity within a new generation of listeners and experimenting with sound to find innovative ways to introduce ideas and tell a story.

Explore Tlingit and Unangax Culture in Art | Craft in America: Storytellers

Grades 7-12
Meet Tlingit and Unangax̂ multidisciplinary artist Nicholas Galanin whose works include totems, masks, jewelry, music and dance which deal with cultural perspectives and identity. Follow Galanin’s artistic process as he discusses his role as a storyteller, his inspiration, artistic process, cultural references and symbolism of his artworks.

Activities, Games & More

Adventure Stories

Grades PreK-1
Clifford and his friends love to go on adventures. Your child can go on an adventure with Clifford too in these three interactive stories featuring space, pirates, and cowpokes – all while working on their reading comprehension skills.

Play a Storytelling Game

Grades K-3
Several of the historical figures Xavier, Brad, and Yadina meet on their adventures were storytellers themselves. In this activity, your child will use her imagination and practice storytelling by rolling homemade dice to tell a unique story!

Sharing Stories Activity

Grades K-3
Help your child get to know more about family and friends by collaborating on this storytelling activity.

Xavier Riddle’s Story Creator

Grades 1-2
Create your own stories using an interactive mad-libs style of play, with a little help from Xavier and crew!

Storytelling with Words and Pictures

Grades 3-6
In this interactive lesson, students learn the basics of how stories are structured, gain vocabulary about storytelling elements, and explore how the arts, specifically drawing, can be a valuable way for students to tell stories.

Claymation | Digital Storytelling

Grades 4-8
Learn principles of Claymation storytelling through this digital lesson! Create a clay character, tell a great story, throw in a few animation principles, and you’re a Claymation pro in no time.

Family of Us: Group Discussion & Storytelling Activity | PBS American Portrait

Grades 6-12
PBS American Portrait: Family of Us showcases individuals who are proud to share their families’ stories. The 26-minute full program—broken into four segmented story modules in this media gallery—defines family as a mutual and chosen commitment to love, as much as or more so than a biological relationship. After watching, use viewing activities and discussion questions to help your students draw connections to these stories by creating and sharing stories of their own!

Local Organizations: Story Tellers & Collectors

Clinton Essex Franklin Library System

The Clinton, Essex, Franklin Library System is made up of 33 libraries and reading centers in the tri-county region, all open to the public with a variety of digital and in-person programs and offerings, dependent on location and availability. Consult this map of library locations to help you find your local branch, their contact information, hours of operation, and more.

Looking for story time opportunities online? You and your children can enjoy watching the Plattsburgh Public Library’s many Virtual Storytime videos on their YouTube channel, or check out a weekly, live Zoom Story Time from Lake Placid Public Library every Friday at 10:30 AM.

Keene Valley Library | Adirondack Community

Sponsored by the Keene Valley Library, Adirondack Community is a multi-year local history project that collects and organizes audio stories and related photographs from Town of Keene community members through the online platform to share their rich social and cultural history in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. Explore stories about arts and culture, work, daily life, community and more! Share your story today.

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) is dedicated to showcasing the folk culture and living traditions of New York’s North Country. This includes diverse customs and traditions ⎯ like storytelling, music, crafts, foodways, and folk art ⎯ that make life special in our region, from the St. Lawrence River to the Adirondack Mountains.

Take in exhibitions at the Folkstore and Gallery Space, or get involved in making some art of your own with one of the many community-driven research projects TAUNY hosts. You can also participate in the Get the Folk Through It pandemic documentation project to share your stories of, and creative responses to, the Coronavirus Pandemic.