For the Classroom


Story Guides

Looking for educational storytelling resources to engage young learners? Created from live footage filmed at the National Storytelling Festival, these guides are ideal for grades 3-8, but great for learners of all ages! Click on a teller below to explore the Story Guides, including access to the videos and printable PDFs.

Mara Menzies

Story Guide: The Sun, Moon, and Colors, told by Mara Menzies

This is a Kenyan origin myth that explains how the world received its colors and how brothers Sun and Moon were put in the sky.

Story Guide: The Eagle and the Sparrow, told by Mara Menzies

This story describes a contest between the king of all the birds and the sparrow to see who can fly the highest.



Story Guide: Trouble Talk, told by Eth-Noh-Tec

This origin myth from Cambodia explores what real power is when different animals and Human compete to see who is the most powerful creature.

Story Guide: Great Joy, told by Eth-Noh-Tec 

This Indian story tells about the journey to find trust between the farmer and the ox that finally brings great joy.

Story Guide: The Long-Haired Girl, told by Eth-Noh-Tec

This story from China tells how a girl’s selfless truth and a little magic bring water to her village and save her from the Hairy Spirit King.

Bil Lepp

Story Guide: The Princess and the Pickup Truck, by Bil Lepp

This fractured fairy tale reimagines the traditional fairy tale, “The Princess and the Pea.”

Story Guide: Uncle Debo, JELL-O Balloons and Strike Anywhere Matches, by Bil Lepp 

This tall tale explores the humorous adventures of Bil and his friend Skeeter.

Story Guide: You’re Out!


Donna Washington

Story Guide: …And Then We Were Seven, by Donna Washington

This personal narrative tells how Donna’s family grew from 4 kids to 7 through adoption.

Story Guide: The Great Sugar Incident, by Donna Washington

This funny personal narrative relives many of the 7 children’s adventures together, especially one involving the spilling of sugar and who was responsible.


Antonio Rocha

Story Guide: The Storyteller in Virtual Reality, by Antonio Rocha

This virtual reality adventure story describes how Antonio deals with his fear of heights to get to the top of a 45-story building where he hopes to be able to fly.

Barbara McBride-Smith

Story Guide: Walt Disney’s Horror Flick, by Barbara McBride-Smith

This humorous personal narrative tells about five-year-old Barbara’s trip to the theater to see the movie, “Cinderella” with her older sisters and how the story from the movie was eerily similar to her life.

Tim Tingle

Story Guide: Crossing Bok Chitto, by Tim Tingle

This live retelling of Tim’s book by the same name, recounts the traditional Native American story of how Martha Tom, a Choctaw girl, helps Little Mo, a slave, find the path to freedom.

Rev. Robert Jones

Story Guide: Guitar Lessons by Reverend Robert Jones

This story, with lots of musical accompaniment, tells how Rev. Jones’ grandmother helped him buy his first guitar from a pawn shop and how he learned to play it

Pippa White

Story Guide: The North Platte WWII Canteen by Pippa White

This historical story tells how volunteers at the canteen in North Platte, Nebraska showed their appreciation to soldiers at Christmas and beyond during WWII.

Carolina Quiroga-Stultz

Story Guide: Juan Bobo and the Flies

Enjoy this Puerto Rican story about a boy who learns to use better judgement when dealing with his problem of flies in his honey

Story Guide: Pedrito and the Laughing Skull 

A spooky story about a boy who gets made to look like a fool when a prank was played on him, and how his bravery makes the prank backfire.


Sam Payne

Story Guide: The First Time I Ever Danced with a Girl

This personal rite of passage story with songs to begin and end the story tells about Sam’s trip to his first school dance when he missed his curfew and had to deal with his dad’s anger.

Andy Offut Irwin

Story Guide: Andy’s Wild Amphibian Show 

Andy’s humorous personal story tells how he savors the next to last day of summer, having tadpole adventures with his friend and other fun encounters.

Donald Davis

Donald Davis

Story Guide: Our Big Move…

A personal story about the Davis family’s move across town and an accident that happens which leads to their first, last and only family vacation to Florida.

Story Guide: Nothing Interferes with the Timed Writing!

This hilarious story tells about Donald and his friend’s efforts to test his strict typing teacher’s theory that “Nothing interferes with the timed writing!”


Diane Ferlatte

Story Guide: The Most Unusual Gift

This story tells of a contest between the three sons of the Father King who compete for one princess’ hand in marriage by searching the world for the most unusual gift and how they put their gifts together to save the dying princess.

Story Guide: The Donkey in the Lion’s Skin

Diane weaves Aesop’s fable about a donkey who puts on a lion’s skin hoping to scare others, and a personal tale about her son putting on someone else’s “skin” in order to  fit in with other kids.

John McCutcheon

Story Guide: The Human Orchestra and Songs for my Kids

In this video, John creates a human orchestra with audience participation, and shares songs and stories he wrote for his kids like “If I Ran the World” and “Mail Myself to You”, a song that was used by the US Postal Service.

Chirine El Ansary

Story Guide: Khalifah and the Monkeys

This Egyptian story tells about a boy with little self-confidence who learns to believe in himself through his encounters with 3 monkeys and a fish.

*There is one brief instance of mild language in this story.

Bill Harley

Photo credit Debbie Block

Story Guide: Stories, Songs, and Spoonerisms

Bill shares stories using funny songs and poems which tell about negotiations with a dad, adventures of sister and brother pirates, a spoonerism version of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and a more serious song about the purpose of life.

MaryGay Ducey

Photo credit Jay Huron

Story Guide: A Kind of, Sort of, Pretty Much True Story

This is a personal story that explores MaryGay’s first dates and her relationship with her dad.

*There is one brief instance of mild language in this story.

Bobby Norfolk

Story Guide: Willy and the Hairy Man

Story Guide: Fairytale Raps


Story Guide: The Water of Life