Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grandparents - Adding Richess to Our Lives

Grandfather's Favourites
by Arthur John Elsley, 1861
Although I have written about Grandparent’s Day in the past it carries a special significance for me this year. First, it falls on September 9, my son Christopher’s birthday, and second, he and his beautiful wife Stephanie will grace me with my first grandchild in October.

My son has been blessed with the most amazing grandparents. They continue to add a richness and dimension to his life that could not have come from anyone else. Because of this close relationship he has grown into a young man who respects and appreciates his elders.

I have learned so much from watching them and I hope I will be the same positive influence in my grandchild's life as they have been in Christopher's. I am so excited to greet my own grandchild in a few months. I can’t wait to hold him in my arms and tell him story after story.

Here are some new tales and activities to help you celebrate and honor the elder’s in our lives, both past and present.


How Master Rabbit Went Fishing - Micmac
Grandfather’s Eyes – Czechoslovakia
Old Grandpa Money Rock - Hmong

The Dragon and His Grandmother - German
The Merchant of Seri - Jakata

The Old Grandfather and His Grandson – Germany

The Three Golden Hairs of Grandfather Allknow - Slavic
Two Wolves – Cherokee Native American

BOOKS – A selection of bilingual books for children about grandparents.


A-Z Teacher Stuff – A number of lesson plans – Word Search, venn diagrams, coloring pages and more to use in the classroom or at home to celebrate the day.

National Grandparent’s Day – Lessons, printables, tree chart, and more.


Ato Z Teacher Stuff Adorable handprint activity.

Enchanted Learning – A number of fun, easy crafts.

Busy Bee Kids Crafts – Adorable, easy crafts for your children and students.


Two additional blog posts with resources for Grandparent’s Day and Collecting Oral Histories.

Celebrating Our Elders

Preserving Our Roots – Collecting Family History

Karen Chace 2012 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sweeping the Air, Catching the Dust

The Three Little Men in the Wood
by Arthur Rackham, 1909

Sweeping the Air, Catching the Dust
By Eileen DeLorenzo  © 2012

Each August, I see a dear friend in storytelling at a get-together at a mutual friends' home. Standing in their kitchen, with genuine interest, she asks me, every year, "So what have you been doing?" As someone who's been evolving as a storyteller for several years, quite confident in the fact I will never be accused of being an overnight success; I struggled with answering her question. What have I been doing?
It's a tricky thing, navigating our careers and lives without the structure of working 9-5, five days a week. Spending hours researching multiple versions of a folktale. Learning all there is to know about the culture where the story is from as well as the significance of a type of tree or animal in the story.  All of this time and energy invested in developing a five to seven minute story.

Most of my work is in schools mostly from January to June.  This past year I was very fortunate to tell stories I knew well, from years of telling, in more classrooms and schools than I ever have in a school year. With each group, because of the stories close and familiar, the images and characters were uniquely recreated. In some magical tellings, using my breath, the story seemed to add its own gems.

I treasure those gems. But it's summer now. What have I been doing? I had one gig, a women's club brunch for which I developed three new stories and revised a personal story scheduled for the end of this month. Becoming 'close' to the stories sustained my identity as a storyteller these past weeks.  But with a recent email, the wind was knocked out of my sails, cancelling due to low interest. I knew this was a possibility when I accepted the gig. Granted, I can add those new stories to my repertoire and use them in other venues, but what else did I do this summer?

I did what I've done all these years. I read. I read from every source possible on the topic of which I am most passionate; the importance of storytelling in education, and constructivist education and neuroplasticityNational Storytelling Network's recent Storytelling Magazine reminded me I am part of an amazing network. It was a shot in the arm to reread Karen Chace's posting of the article, 'Your Brain on Fiction' from The New York Times. When it was too hot to walk and practice my stories I downloaded Halo and Noose's The Power of Story Telling and Story Listening in Business Life and Story Matters ebooks. I was curious about Tricycle Magazine's reference to Mark Epstein's, Going On Being and fortunate to find it in CMU's Library. Facebook postings by storytellers such as Camille Born and her seemingly incapable, yet honest sidekick brightened my day. My friend Dawn's posting a video of an injured dragonfly being hand fed and nurtured back to health reaffirmed my sense of wonder in the minute.

Beyond my computer, I'd find myself, more times than I care to admit, looking out the window wondering about things such as why I never noticed leaves look like they are vibrating in the wind. Simple? Well, not really. Measuring worth through intangible experiences is difficult. Despite my struggle with this, I've always seemed to be where I needed to be, doing what I needed to do at the right time. Thanks to family, friends and friends in storytelling, all along, and this summer, more than ever, I am committed and inspired to continue to develop the craft of spoken word.

Eileen DeLorenzo tells stories to audiences of all ages. Her love of story within the art of creating images, and the shared dynamics between teller and listener fuel her warm and lively performances. ​Eileen performs at schools, libraries, community events, festivals, senior organizations, and Tellabrations!An elementary educator, classroom storyteller/storyteacher and certified Thinking Maps™ trainer.

Eileen is available for classroom storytelling sessions and professional development workshops in integrating
Thinking Maps™, storytelling, instructional methods and brain research in education. Eileen's Classroom Storytelling and Thinking Maps blog.

Eileen DeLorenzo is a guest blogger for Karen Chace and Catch the Storybug blog. All rights to this article belong to  Eileen. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without her expressed, written permission. If you would like to be a Guest Blogger contact Karen at for the information.