The Topic: 

Easier - Since people began to communicate with each other, "Tell me a story" has been a request of both children and adults. Storytelling is one person telling others of something. The story can be of a real event or it can be made up. Storytelling is often a part of our everyday conversations.
Harder - Storytelling is one of the earliest forms of folkart. Storytelling probably first consisted of simple chants that praised the dawn, expressed the joy of being alive, and were used to ease the drudgery and boredom of laborious tasks. Later the storyteller became the community entertainer by combining their stories with poetry, music, and dance. The storyteller also evolved into the group historian. This was the beginning of professional storytelling.
Storytelling during the Middle Ages was expanded into the art of the traveling troubadour, who journeyed across the land. They were welcomed in castle, court, and market place. They gathered the news, conveyed the best tales, and were expected to know the favorites in each region. The invention of moveable type and the development of the print publishing business led to reading replacing listening, and the decline of storytelling.
In recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in the art of storytelling. Professional storytellers tour the United States and Canada. Likewise storytelling conferences and festivals abound and attract a wide audience. In formal storytelling today, the teller prepares a story to present to their listeners. Some storytellers tell stories from their own imagination. Other stories have been gathered, sometimes adapted from books and other storytellers. Folklore stories such as myths, epics, legends, and fables continue to be favorites.
Art of Storytelling
Here you can find help in learning how to tell stories. The site includes hints on techniques, contacts with online story resources and websites, storytellers, and associations devoted to the Art of Telling.
Related Websites:
2) In Pursuit of the Realm of the Oral Tradition of Storytelling
3) What is Storytelling? by C. Larkin
4) What Storytelling Is. An Attempt at Defining the Art Form
Aaron Shepard's Storytelling Page
Author Aaron Shepard shares some tales and tips on how to tell a story.
Handbook for Storytellers from Internet School Library Media Center
This handbook on storytelling offers hints to anyone who is interested in telling stories. You'll have to learn for yourself what works for you and develop your own storytelling style.
Related Website:
2) Perceiving The Foundation of Storytelling by B.Johnson
Kids' Storytelling Club
At this website, you can find ideas for stories to tell, storytelling crafts to make, and activities.
After visiting several of the storytelling websites, complete one or more of these activities.
Complete a WebQuest. Follow or adapt the directions found at one of these webQuests: 
1) Appalachian Storytelling (Grades 7-8) by R. Silvey
2) Fairy Tale Quest
3) Finding Forgotten Folktales (Grade 10) by J. Johnson
4) Ghostchasers Across the Carolinas (Grades 7 and up)
5) Middle Ages: Storytelling WebQuest (Grades 4-8) by M. Durant
6) Oral Tradition WebQuest (Grade 6) by K. Harrell
7) Storyteller's WebQuest by E. Hunt
Tell a Story. Learn all that you can about the art of storytelling. Start with ideas from (1) Art of Storytelling, (2) Handbook for Storytellers, and (3) Aaron Shepard's Storytelling Page. You can get lots more ideas by visiting websites found at (4) Storytelling Ring. Also take time to go to (5) Folklore, Myth and Legend, (6) The Moonlit Road, and other story collection sites to select your first story. If you are getting a story from a book, read it aloud before deciding whether to adapt it for telling. Start out with a short, simple story. Choose one that you like. Practice in front of a mirror; pay attention to your stance and gestures. Practice by recording your story; listen carefully to your voice mannerisms. Practice on videotape; experiment with pacing and look for ineffective gestures and distractions. Try telling the story to a friends. Listen for feedback, evaluate it critically. Time the story; see which parts need to be told faster and where you need to slow down. Don't rush the delivery, but also don't let it run to long.
Join a Storytelling Mailing List. You can find directions for joining the STORYTELL mailing list at: Be prepared to receive 30 or more messages each day.
Build a Story Collection. Collect stories from family, friends, books and internet sources. Build a database that includes your story source (book title, author, publisher or date and the name of person you heard the story from). Include an outline of the story, think in terms of scenes. Note the story theme. List and describe the setting and characters. Record the key phrases that you want to use. Research the background of the each story, the country it is from, historical background, etc.
Join or Start a Storytelling Club. Find other people that are interested in storytelling. Visit Voices Across America to get ideas and locate an organization in your area. If there is none in your local area, consider starting one. If interested in storytelling competition, visit Guidelines for State Representatives for the National Storytelling Youth Olympics.
More Storytelling Websites
Australian Storytelling
Here you find stories, articles, interviews from back issues of 'Telling Tales.'
Related Website:
2) Stories of the Dreaming
Center for Digital Storytelling
This webiste assists people in using digital media to tell meaningful stories from their lives.
Children's Literature - Resources for Storytellers
This links-site connects to a select number of storytelling websites.
Funsmith's Storytelling Page
Although this site has some 'link-rot', there are still some good resources on storytelling plus an online article.
Storytelling FAQ by T. Sheppard
These are the 'Frequently Asked Questions' posted irregularly to Storytell email list and alt.arts.storytelling.
This is another great startup site with storytelling information, stories, and storytellers.
Storytelling Ring
Here you can connect to an endless number of storytelling websites.
Telling Tales
Here you can read stories, learn about storytellers, or do some fun writing activities.
Voices Across America
This is the website of a nationwide effort to create youth storytelling clubs in schools and communtities around the world.
Online Stories and Tales
Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By
This collection of stories and tales from around the world includes a lesson plan and simple questions. Search the stories or see a complete list with descriptions, age range, and time required to read the story.
Creation Myths from Around the World
All societies have passed down stories through the generations explaining creation and the relationship between humans, the environment, and the spirit world.
Folklore, Myth and Legend (The Children's Literature Web Guide)
This links-site connects to a wide variety of references and sources.
Moonlit Road
Travel down 'The Moonlit Road' to read folktales from the American South or listen as the region's best storytellers weave their magic.
Native American Traditional Storytelling
This links site connects to stories, myths, and legends.
Period Sources for Story Telling by D. Friedman and E. Cook (Cariadoc's Miscellany
This website contains a bibliography and links for Medieval/Renaissance storytelling resources.
Tim Sheppard's Storytelling Links
Here is a collection of storytelling resources on the web.
Mountain Laurel
This website houses memories of the Blue Ridge Mountain areas. Draw up a chair or nail keg and enjoy these tales from the mountains.
Not-To-Be-Missed Section:
2) Tales From The Mountains
Websites for Teachers
Fractured Fairy Tales
In this creative writing activity, students will use familiar characters, plots and settings from traditional fairy tales to create "fractured" versions. By altering the story line, adding an unexpected twist, or creating a contemporary "spin," students will experiment with satire, irony and parody.
From Remus to Rap: A History in Theory and Practice of African-American Storytelling (Grades 7-12) by J. Perlstein from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
This unit is intended to expose students to the storytelling tradition in African-American culture. There are two components to the unit: the first is historical and theoretical and the second is practical. These two components would intertwine.
Learning Through Storytelling from Turner South and Turner Learning, Inc.
Help! I'm not a storyteller, and I don't have time to learn. Sure you are. You don't have to be a polished professional to tell stories.
Story Arts Online
This website was created for teachers and librarians about the use of storytelling in the classroom to enhance speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
Story Starters by F, Vitali at AskERIC Lesson Plans (All grades)
Sometimes simple props such as masks, puppets and costumes take the attention away from the student so s/he can focus on the content and telling of the story.
Similar Lesson Plans:
2) Pizzaz!...Basket Stories
3) Pizzaz!...Chain Stories
4) Pizzaz!...Magazine Marvels
Storytelling and the Art of Teaching by E.M. Pedersen
(Forum, Vol 33 No 1, January - March 1995)
This article explores storytelling as the original form of teaching.
Storytelling with the Flannelboard by I. Ramsey from Internet School Library Media Center
Learn how to prepare stories as well as the materials needed for making a flannelboard.
Other Storytelling Resources at
2) Games for Teaching Storytelling
3) Choosing Stories for Storytelling
Mother Goose
oral history
point of view (POV)
fairy tale
story element
oral tradition
story reading
Bullfinch's Mythology
eye contact
human experience
Aesop's Fables
cowboy poetry
 Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99, Updated, 2/02. Updated by Nancy Smith 10/02