Blog tour :: Book :: Show me a story

by Admin on 09/10/2012

in Books, Kids Crafts

Emily Neuburger is an artist, teacher, freelance children’s craft designer, and author of the blog, Red Bird Crafts. Throughout her teaching career, she’s been especially interested in how art informs writing and vice versa, and how both nurture people’s capacity to imagine. Her curriculum is a nice balanced blend of skill-based learning, inspirational and intrinsic investigation, and creative encouragement; she teaches classes to both children and adults in her home studio/classroom as well as in libraries and schools. Many of her projects for children have been published across the web on popular sites such as Poppytalk, Apartment Therapy, Crafty Crow, Craftzine, and in both Family Fun and Parenting print magazines. She recently wrote Show Me a Story Published by Storey.

Emily is here to discuss a little about her book Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling today.

I’m so honored to have the chance to share a bit about my new book, Kathreen! Thank you for welcoming me to Whipup today.

Show Me a Story is an educational craft book, which nurtures children’s natural inclination to tell stories. It is curriculum rich with projects and activities that encourage children to experiment with their imaginations and to feel inspired by their own, brilliant creations. With its simple materials, wide variety of techniques, and teacher tips, it is an inspiring companion for anyone who does creative work with children, and it is perfect for ages 5 and up  (with modifications for the under 5 set).

The book is divided into four distinct sections:  Story Starters for encouraging children to be empowered storytellers from the beginning; Story Evolution for enriching and facilitating children’s existing relationship with stories; Story Activities which focuses on the process of developing a story, not just the product; and Story Play for inspiring and supporting children as they express their stories through drama and fantasy play.

Besides being fun, the activities in my book are developmentally nourishing; they give children the chance to generate their own paths to imaginary lands.  There are endless opportunities for them to discover characters and setting in a physical way using their own minds and hands.  During a time when video game play is so prevalent, this kind of thinking and doing is so crucial for children.

As a former English and creative writing teacher, I’m especially fond of using word play as a way to encourage storytelling exploration. In the project Word Tags, I suggest that children become word collectors, so that they can use their bounty to write vibrant poems and to tell interesting stories.  This is a sample list of some of the words my children and I have collected:

loop, lavender, persnickety, gray, Poseidon, hidden, clamor, tussle, tangerine, wizard, creek, slope, clasp, woodchuck, stalagmite, smashup, bookish, wilt, flub, avalanche, nubbin, grip, woolly, blush, mud, dream, marigold, brine, aloft, junket, outfox, bedrock, fly, zero, twirl, crackerjack, sassafrass, tang, rooted, weepy, milkweed, roses, howl, goof, maudlin, sway, wee, sidewise, gnome, tuft, robot, maze, bark, flock, bias, solemn, wind, dusk, loon, drift, radical, match, flushed, circus, blip, fawn, jaw, pastoral, minced,  marina, Jupiter, snark, mossy, clog, spin, teeter, bundle, summit, peruse

And, then we like to group them together to create vibrant, original ideas:
  • dusk grip
  • rooted dream
  • weepy tangerine
  • marigold drift
  • hidden roses
  • sidewise fly
  • wee tuft
  • mossy avalanche
  • circus summit
As a current creative arts and writing educator, I’ve witnessed many children engage in making the projects in my book, and so, today, I’d like to show you a glimpse of some of their intentional, inspired creations.  A portion of these come from my classes, some from visitors, and some from visits to schools, libraries and museums.  Each piece is the manifestation of a unique and powerful creative voice.

xox emily

For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suzanne October 9, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks for an inspiring review.

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2 Lisa October 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

Very cool. I’m a therapist and when I work with groups of kids (usually girls), I really try to incorporate storytelling– as a means of building empathy and other skills.

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3 Caroline October 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I am so looking forward to seeing this book in person… it sounds amazing! Your review makes it all the more tantalizing!

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4 Cindy October 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I’m so excited about this book! I’m always looking for fun new ways to help with my 7 year old with her storytelling.

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