Category Archives: Storytelling circle guidelines

Wisdom Conference Call–Storytelling Circles

Greetings All,

Bruce asked me to send out some ground rules for a storytelling circle. Storytelling circle is a good way to build community, but I have never done over the phone! Now I will be offering a presentation at the conference where we will have a storytelling circle where short wisdom stories will be shared as means to getting at a few of the conference questions.

But here are points of consideration for a storytelling circle:

1. It is always good to have a few prompts such as: What drew you to this conference? What are your own views about the nature of and importance of wisdom and your experiences of it in the classroom. Or, I would phrase it just a little differently: Tell us a moment or a story that illustrates why are coming this conference or share a moment or story that illustrates why you are a teacher or educator. It is common for listeners in a circle to have one story in mind, but as other stories are being told, another story will pop in and asked to be told.

2. One person shares at a time with no interruptions or asking of questions. No repeating of stories heard in the circle without permission from the person telling the story. (Usually I have several different objects in the circle. When a person is ready, the grab an object, hold on to the object while speaking, and put it down when finished. I would recommend some kind of vocal cue for us to announce “I’m ready to tell my story” and then one’s name and use the same vocal cue when finished.)

3. Time is always a challenge. I recommend short stories from 3-5 minutes to start so we can hear many stories. Bruce said he thought we can do at least this general format the next two times.

4. After everyone in the circle have told their stories, I usually have participants to talk about the common themes as well as the different perspectives that they noticed. I don’t know if we will have time to do this or not, but I am sure it will naturally happen.

I hope this helpful for next week’s call. Looking forward to hearing interesting vocal sounds and stories!