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!
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
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.
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.
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.