Story Shorts

A White Girl Looks at Race

Storyteller Susan O’Halloran weaves three short true stories of her life growing up in Chicago in the 1960s. The three short stories offered here—“Davy Crockett,” “Us vs. Them,” and “The Dr. King March”—all explore Susan’s experience growing up in Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s when the relationship between blacks and whites in the United States were tense and changing quickly.

Being Mexican-American : Caught Between Two Worlds–Nepantla

In these warm and engaging story-excerpts professional Storyteller Olga Loya relates some of her life-story and her attempts to reconcile the two worlds and realities of ‘American’ and ‘Mexican American’. Audio-segments, story-text and classroom activities will engage students in exploring what it means be fluent in more than one culture at a time. The unit assists teachers to move beyond the Mexican-American experience to anyone who has been caught between two worlds and two identities. Use this unit to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month or to practice storytelling skills and to probe issues of difference and belonging.

Bittersweet: A Chinese American Daughter’s Legacy

The stories offered here—Immigrant History and Mom’s Story—come from Chinese American storyteller, Nancy Wangs longer story Bittersweet: A Chinese American Daughter’s Legacy.In this story, Wang explores the history of her own family, beginning with the immigration of her great-great-grandparents from China to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.

Connecting the Dots: Racism, Activism & Creating a Life (Long Version)

This is a story about an African-American who grew up in Chicago. It tells the story of Michael McCarty from a boy who read/heard about the Civil Rights movement to becoming an activist, joining the Black Panthers and drawing negative attention from the FBI which lead to difficulties in his professional and personal life. He tells his struggles with drugs, the FBI, and his journey through physical and spiritual health. All of the various parts of McCarty's life are bound together in this story by his faith in the power of being an example to others, honest storytelling and sharing and the importance of being open to all of our experiences.

Connecting the Dots: Racism, Activism & Creating a Life (Short Version)

This is a story about an African-American who grew up in Chicago. It tells the story of Michael McCarty from a boy who read/heard about the Civil Rights movement to becoming an activist, joining the Black Panthers and drawing negative attention from the FBI which lead to difficulties in his professional and personal life. He tells his struggles with drugs, the FBI, and his journey through physical and spiritual health. All of the various parts of McCarty's life are bound togther in this story by his faith in the power of being an example to others, honest storytelling and sharing and the importance of being open to all of our experiences.

Dreaming of Cuba: Stories that Bind

Antonio Sacre tells of his lifelong desire to learn about Cuba from his father and his father’s reluctance to discuss the country from which he and his family were exiled after the revolution in 1959. Sacre explores his desire to learn about his family’s history, his father’s reluctance to discuss Cuba, and the time his father finally shared some memories from his childhood.

Feathers in the Wind: A Jewish-American’s Story

Feathers in the Wind: A Jewish American’s Story invites students and teachers of all religious and cultural backgrounds to reflect on their own lives and to explore the impact of gossip and hurtful words.

This lesson plan “unpacks” stories told by Susan Stone, a professional storyteller. This story and lesson plan can be used in one or two sessions.

From Flint Michigan to Your Front Door: Tracing the Roots of Racism

This lesson plan explores the true story FROM FLINT MICHIGAN TO YOUR FRONT DOOR by African American professional storyteller La’Ron Williams. With humor and honesty Williams will inspire conversation among students about the issues of institutional racism, living in two cultures at once, and claiming one’s own history and culture. This story and lesson plan addresses the White, Euro-centrism of our history and culture and the use of story to challenge that mono-cultural understanding of history. Lesson
Plan, story-text, student activities and audio-downloads.

Hidden Memory: Japanese American Incarceration

This unit raises the challenge for you and your students of knowing your family’s story – and why it matters. Other themes : How a national crisis can lead to xenephobia and the subtitles of institutional racism …. all told through the warm and lively storytelling style of professional storyteller Anne Shimojima as she recalls her Japanese American family and history.. Lesson Plan, story-text, student activities and audio-downloads.

Rosa Parks : One of Many Who Sat Down to Stand Up

In Linda Gorham’s story Rosa Parks : One of Many Who Sat Down to Stand Up Linda personalizes the words and action in a story of the famed Rosa Parks. The lesson plan explores the many other heroes of the civil rights movement who "sat down’ to stand up for justice. Self-worth, dignity and courage come alive".

Search Across the Races: A Native American Looks at His Mixed Identities

I am Indopino brings together Tlingit, Cherokee, and Filipino storyteller Gene Tagaban’s personal story and the history of discrimination against American Indians in Alaska. He also weaves into this rich narrative the story of Elizabeth Peratrovich, who helped pass the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act in Alaska, the first of its kind in the country.

The Spirit Survives: The American Indian Boarding School Experience: Then and Now

This lesson plan presents a rarely heard part of American history — a true story about the crimes of forced assimilation of Indian children in the American Indian Boarding Schools.

Kiowa Apache and Lakota Indian storyteller Dovie Thomason weaves a fascinating story of struggle, survival and inspiration as she tells her own daughter of a history that must not be forgotten and that presents lessons for all of us today. Texts, audio-download segments and classroom activities and resources are all a part of this powerful Lesson Plan.