Positive Tales that
Teach, Tickle and Motivate

Home   |  Performances     Senior Centers/Assisted Living Facilities   |   Curriculum connections  The Answer  


Read what others are saying about my programs!

New Programs


-       stories about kids dealing with different fears ( the dark, dogs, bullies)

Course Corrections

-       a collection of how kids made small changes that added up to big changes

The Differences between Boys and Girls

-       it starts out with a funny comparison of boys and girls and subtly the audience figures out that girls and boys are really just human

All these programs were field tested on 7th graders.


School and Library Performances

One of Jim's many captivated audiences.

Jim tells stories for grades K-12.  His theme performances include:

·         Right to Read Week – Jim uses motivational stories, humor and written information to lead kids toward literacy skills.
            “Jim made the students laugh and think.”  (Elmwood Elementary, Cincinnati, Ohio)
            “Jim made his points with humor.  The lessons were not lost on the students.”  (St. Paul’s Elementary, Westerville, 

·         Grandparents' Day - stories about family and talking about past days, memories and sayings

·         Ghost Stories - thought-provoking, not gory, leaves the audiences trying to decide if it was really a ghost or not, students will solve mysteries

·         Character Education programs – This program is 74% stories used to illustrate important points (see example:  Dealing with Ugly Teasing and Bullying).

Why use stories in a character education program?

In the past, when faced with a problem, some of the following tactics were used:  

·         Scare the students...but if one student survived, immediately they all think they can survive.

·         Give them all the information and the students will automatically make the best decision.  PLEASE!!!!

·         Talk about the feelings involved in the problem.  BINGO!!!  To kids, feelings are payoffs.

Stories provoke thoughts AND feelings!  The student may not remember the words of the story, but they will remember how the story made them feel.

Stories about people dealing with life provoke opinions.  Students can criticize, offer advice, and give opinions in a safe environment.

Stories can easily be internalized.  Students pay attention and are drawn into the stories.

Stories point out that all people worry and struggle with the same things in life.  They illustrate the common thread in human society.

Jim has also done library performances.  He has over 80 original tales that can fit into any theme.  In June 2001, Jim was the feature storyteller for the summer program at the Washington DC libraries.  He has done workshops for the Ohio Library and Media Association.


Character Education Story Example - Dealing with Ugly Teasing and Bullying

Kids are cruel and bullies are part of life.  These statements are NOT true.  However, the belief about these statements does account for some of the problems seen in school around the country. 

This talk about ugly teasing and bullying runs about 35 minutes, no including discussion time.  The talk consists of stories, common sense and ideas on how the students can handle teasing and bullies.  Throughout the talk, I weave stories that illustrate my points.  I provide time for discussion, comments and questions.  I also provide follow-up materials that the teachers and principals can use.

Fact can convince, but stories sell.  Students will laugh and then listen.  They remember the stories and how they made them fell.  Feelings do give way to actions - positive actions that help kids deal with teasing and bullying.  Students will hear some of the same things they have already heard from you, but sometimes a new face saying those same things along with the stories has a positive impact.  

This talk is designed for grades 4 through 8.  This talk was field-tested on 1200 students in large and small group settings.  The results were:  85% like the talk, 72% indicated that it made them think about acting in positive ways to deal with teasing and bullies, 85% said they would recommend the talk to other students.  Comments included:

·         "Very appropriate for the kids."  ( 4-8)

·         "Caught their interest, they were talking about your stories a week later." ( K-4)

·         "Got the kids to think.  Your stories caused some lively discussion in class and at the lunch table."

·         Never saw our 7th graders so focused

·         Like the way, you inter wove the stories (7-8)

·         Definitely enjoyable but cause for thought.. well done  (5-6)

·         Very thought provoking for students and staff (K-8)

·         At the Governor’s Summit on Character Education-it was the highest rated workshop

·          Kept the students’ attention for 50 minutes, WOW  (grades 9-11)

·          A great boost to our timid students  (K-6)

·          Very enjoyable and uplifting stories  (3-6)

 Storytelling works because it draws on the students’ personal experience. This fact improves retention by 75%

Copyright © 2001 Positive Tales that Teach, Tickle and Motivate