The Magic of Storytelling

Third grader Ombeni Elize sharing his tale
with one of our second grade classes.

Since November, Grammy-Award Winning artist Bill Harley has been working with our third grade students to share the history, the magic, and the process of storytelling.

While working with Mr. Harley and their respective teachers, the students learned to use picture maps to stress the importance of imagining and knowing the story visually. The students also listened to several stories to learn the rhythm—the musical aspects—of storytelling. After reading and hearing several famous stories, students selected the style that most appealed to them to create their own stories. Even though the students wrote a version of the story, Mr. Harley discouraged their reading aloud their stories, as he believes that allowing students to read the story keeps a student from truly knowing it and sharing it verbally.

Once they understood the form of stories from these visual, aural, and writing lessons, the students began to deliver their own stories. Following multiple practice sessions and after giving and receiving feedback from their peers, the students were ready to “take it on the road”. Our third graders confidently shared their tales with their first, second, and fourth grade schoolmates.


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%