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Gr. 3-9 Storytelling

One of our artists will lead your class in the creation of a group story using Trickster’s super fun and fast story development process.  We’ll beam into your class using Google Meets and lead the session using Google Jamboard. We’ll supply storyboard forms and work with you to choose the starting picture prompts.

After you book, we’ll contact you to arrange the dates.

Time:  2- 75 Minute Sessions 

We don’t choose the books we write; they choose us.”​

– Miriam Toews

What is Storytelling?

  • An ancient artform
  • A form of human expression
  • Uses words to inspire the reader or listener’s imagination
  • Can transmit knowledge and history from generation to generation
  • Can be written, spoken or use gestures and expressions
  • Can teach ethics, morals and values
  • Can be from the storyteller’s imagination (fiction) or real experiences and knowledge (non-fiction)
  • Anyone can be a storyteller!

Program Outline

In each 75 minute session, we’ll use Google Meets to engage your classroom and lead our story creation process. We’ll use Google Jamboard (if your school uses Google you will have access to this) so the class can see the process on the Smartboard. To do this we’ll have you (teacher) open the Jamboard file we provide – and the artist will as well. This enables you to work alongside the artist in the process. (really easy to do – just adding post it notes with ideas inside Jamboard).

In each session we will use a picture prompt. We’ll choose a picture from our library so it is already loaded into Jamboard, or you can propose one as well.  We may be able to use a different picture in each session, or may use 2 sessions to complete one story. We’ll do whatever is the best fit for the class.

The process we use will help us develop a full story from the picture prompt.  The steps in the process are outlined below. 


STEP 1:  The Picture prompt.  We’ll talk about the picture as one frame from a movie or video and the need to create the rest of frames or images in order to have a story.

We’ll talk about possible groups of things. What if there were more of what is in the picture? Like more pigs, more picnic tables or more ice cream cones?

STEP 2: We’ll look at movement patterns to imagine the groups in motion. What could they be doing?

STEP 3: We’ll put our ideas on the idea shelf. This is where all of our initial ideas go.

 STEP 4: These are Ideas that are related to a question or problem that came out of our favourite idea from the Idea Shelf.  We will choose a favourite and look at ways to pose it as a question.

We are focusing the story by doing this. Now the ideas will be focused on the central question or problem that our story will revolve around. 

 STEP 5: Dropping the story ideas into the storyboard. 

This happens very easily because every idea on the story shelf is related to the central question or problem. So the story makes sense and automatically has a beginning, a middle and an end.

STEP 6: Using the storyboard as a guide, the artist will work with 2 students at a time to “tell the story” . This will enable us to fill in the details. We’ll repeat this with other students. 

Meanwhile, all of the students will use the supplied storyboard Template at their desk to draw and describe the story. 

If you want you can try and act it out – using the movement patterns that the ideas came from as a choreography guide. 

Have each student write/record or tell the story and add in any other details. 


  • Read, write, represent and talk to explore and explain connections between prior knowledge and new information in oral, print and other media texts
  • Combine, share and discuss personal experiences and the knowledge and skills gained through previous experiences with oral, print and other media texts to understand new ideas and information
  • Contribute ideas to a discussion, and listen and respond constructively
  • Take responsibility for collaborating with others to achieve group goals
  • Address specific problems in a group by specifying goals, devising alternative solutions and choosing the best alternative
  • Explain own point of view about oral, print and other media texts
  • Seek the viewpoints of others to build on personal responses and understanding
  • Use pre-established criteria to provide support and feedback to peers on their oral, print and other media texts
  • Select and explain preferences for particular forms of oral, print and other media texts
  • Use talk, notes, personal writing and representing, together with texts and the ideas of others, to clarify and shape understanding
  • Develop own opinions based on ideas encountered in oral, print and other media texts
  • Connect and compare personal challenges and situations encountered in daily life with those experiences by people or characters in other times, places and cultures portrayed in oral, print and other media texts
  • Describe and discuss new places, times, characters and events encountered in oral, print and other media texts
  • Describe and discuss the influence of setting on the characters and events
  • Identify or infer reasons for a character’s actions or feelings
  • Make judgements and inferences related to events, characters, setting and main ideas of oral, print and other media texts
  • Recognize how words and word combinations, such as word play, repetition and rhyme, influence or convey meaning
  • Experiment with words, sentence patterns, imagery and exaggeration to create mood and mental images and use detail to enhance character, setting and action.
  • Use an increasing variety of words to express and extend understanding of concepts related to personal interest and topics of study
  • Produce oral, print and other media texts that follow a logical sequence, and demonstrate clear relationships between character and plot
  • Use own experience as a starting point and source of information for fictional oral, print and other media texts
  • Organize ideas and information, using appropriate categories, chronological order, cause and effect, or posing and answering questions to link ideas and information and to assist audience understanding
  • Recognize gaps in gathered information and suggest additional information needed for a particular audience and purpose
  • Ask for and evaluate the usefulness of feedback and assistance from peers
  • Revise to provide focus, expand relevant ideas and eliminate unnecessary information
  • Present to peers ideas and information on a topic of interest, in a well-organized form
  • Adjust volume, tone of voice and gestures appropriately to engage the audience
  • Give constructive feedback, ask relevant questions, and express related opinions in response to oral and visual presentations
  • Compare own and others’ responses to ideas and experiences related to oral, print and other media texts
Classroom or Group Setting:
  • Smartboard, so that we can use Google Jamboard.
  • Internet access and Zoom or Google Meets
  • 2 computers or devices ( 1 for teacher and one so the artist can see the class)
  • A picture prompt of your choice or we can provide one
  • 30 minute tech setup session with our office to work out details
  • Willingness to provide feedback to Trickster

Ready to get started?

Beam an artist into your classroom to lead the story creation process.

Why Teachers Love It

If you are looking for a new, active way of getting your students to write, the residency is spectacular. It takes everyone out of their comfort zone to get them to experience the story before writing it. Fantastic!

- Banff Trail School, Calgary 2018-19

Thank you for another great week of learning and writing! Can't wait to see what happens between now and your next visit.

- École Joe Clark, High River 2018-19

As the week unfolded I could see the benefits of providing the movement patterns and the time to orally rehearse before writing. 

- Elbow Park School, Calgary 2018-19

This was a great program and very useful for our storytelling and story writing unit.

- Highwood School, Calgary 2020-21

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