The workshop takes place from 9AM to 3PM, with a half hour for lunch
(not included). This technique of storytelling uses an apron made from a special fabric, to which velcro adheres. With each
story, poem or song, there are pictures and/or objects with small pieces of velcro attached to the back that are placed onto
the apron. Many of the stories are taken from childrens' literature, and some have been written by the presenter specifically
for this method. After each story is demonstrated in full, Mary-Elin explains how the pieces were created for use with this
story, and gives tips and suggestions for the most effective presentation, and specific ideas and materials for enrichment
activities. For most stories, patterns are provided for the participants to use later to create this story themselves. Often,
several stories are completed by each attendee before the end of the workshop, for use the next day in the classroom or library.
Also supplied are various "goodies", interesting and perhaps hard-to-find objects or materials, such as a chenille
bumblebee or a miniature basket, making the stories even more appealing to the children. A laminator is also available for
use during the day. These extra touches are appreciated by the participants as great time savers.
of demonstrations may vary, but some of the books used in past workshops are: If you give a mouse a cookie and If
you give a moose a muffin, both by Laura Numeroff; My Dad is awesome by Nick Butterworth; Over in the meadow,
various authors; Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear what do you hear?, both
by Bill Martin; The cake that Mack ate by Rose Robart; and The best peanut butter sandwich in the whole world
by Bill MacClean.
In addition to fiction, poetry, and songs, demonstrations are given to illustrate the effectiveness
of this technique for use with other areas of the curriculum, such as math, science and social studies. Besides being used
as a visual teaching assistant, this method is a undisputable attention-getter, and helps in creating speedy transitions.
When you put on the apron, students know that something special is about to happen! They attend quickly and quietly, waiting
for whatever the teacher has to offer, be it fractions or food groups.
Each participant receives a packet of information
that includes a great deal of information (in addition to the patterns and extension activities already mentioned), such as
resources for further study and an annotated bibliography of books that would be suitable for future creations. Available
for purchase are some of the books demonstrated that day, story aprons, and any materials or unusual odds n ends
that would enhance the stories.