StoriesLive® finals April 28th 2012

4:13 am in Uncategorized by massmouth

In 2011, the StoriesLive® program introduced 1,100 junior and senior high school students to the art of 21st century storytelling and awarded $5,000 in scholarship prizes.

2012 Update:

All schools that participated last year have signed on again this year. We have added 4 new schools to date: Lawrence Humanities & Leadership High, South Community High – Worcester, Revere High, Chelsea High Each of these new schools is in an urban setting & serves a proportionally large at-risk & immigrant populations. The 2012 ‘season’ commenced on January 31st at Everett High where the entire junior class was introduced to StoriesLive®  by massmouth storytellers & celebrity appearances by EHS seniors, Mathews DeSouza, an award winner in the 2011 SL®  final story slam and Ryan Considine, also a finalist. Everett High ELA teachers have implemented our curriculum after a professional development workshop and this is a welcome development. We’ve made valuable connections with ELL teachers/students at Revere and Worcester and are streamlining our materials to meet ELL students needs.

StoriesLive® program introduces the art of storytelling, in the classroom, to junior and senior high school and teaches the students valuable presentation, narrative and life skills. It is a curriculum-based program developed by massmouth teaching-artists, who are also professional storytellers. Video #1 [below] shows highlights and participant’s reflections on the program. And, for the truly busy teacher/administrator/specialist, we have video#2 which is a one minute “trailer” –

1. teachers and students talk about StoriesLive® 2011

2. A one minute “trailer” style video

Registration for 2012 slam is ongoing – please contact: for more information.

Highlights of StoriesLive® pilot year -in our first season we:

• Introduced over 1,110 high school students to the art of storytelling in four, 60-minute lesson plans

• Classroom work culminated in a grade-wide story slam at each high school.

• Awarded $5,000 in scholarship funds to 5 winners at the first ever intra-mural high school story slam.

• Included a full complement of reproducible materials for each school to aid in the instruction of storytelling.

• Supported participating teachers through in-service workshops

• created the® pages site

•In addition to online materials we held conference calls and blogged

• Students learned valuable skills that helped navigate college and job application processes.

“The final slam event on Saturday at the Cambridge Public Library was excellent! I was moved both to tears and laughter by well crafted tale after well crafted tale.” – Hayley Wood, MassHumanities, Senior Program Officer

StoriesLive® was supported by a Project Grant from,various LCC grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, generous private donors and is currently securing funding for the 2012 season. Join us for the exciting 2012 Scholarship Slam Project.

Students who participate will be able to tell a 2-4 minute personal story by the end of the unit. Personal stories will relate to one of 5 themes:

New this year!

Themes will be aligned to the Common App essay prompts!

Up the Family Tree ♦ Where I am From ♦ Learned the Hard Way ♦ First Time ♦ Lost & Found

StoriesLive® is a defined program that has 5 steps but schools may opt for a customized program*

1) Professional Development Workshop

2) Assembly

3) 4 In-Class Lesson Plans

4) A school wide slam

5) StoriesLive® Scholarship Slam in MARCH 2012

Andrea Lovett, Gene Constantino, Patty Frey, Brianda Agramonte – $2000 SL® first prize winner and Norah Dooley at Lynn Classical High School, May 2011.

* We will work with all schools that are interested in the program and actively seek funding for partner schools.


The Professional Development Workshop(PDW) is led by StoriesLive artist/educators from The program, lesson plans and workshop activities will be posted on line for participating educators. The Assembly showcases massmouth storytellers who tell a 4 minute personal narrative based on the 5 themes. The Assembly includes hands-on storytelling activities preparing students for their first class. The 4 Lesson Plans are held during class time and implemented as a unit. Storytelling activities comprise the first three lessons; the fourth lesson is an in-class “story slam”. Every student will tell their story. Each high school will have a Schoolwide Slam. The school will promote it. It can be a big or modest event: from a ticketed night or weekend event as a school fundraiser or during the day for as an assembly for a few classes.

Schools may opt to allow junior and senior students from Theater, Speech, district homeschoolers and students in After School Story or Drama Classes, who have a story, but have not taken any StoriesLive instruction to participate in their school wide slam.

Inquire about participation guidelines for this year at:

Winners of a school wide slam advance to the finals in March 2012. All schools use the same judging rubric and slam format and adhere to basic guidelines. Every teacher will have access to online support from massmouth at the StoriesLive® pages of this website. The schools are encouraged to videotape the students telling their stories. Participating high schools will send a representative to the StoriesLive Scholarship Slam, which will be held in MARCH 2012, at a TBA theater in Boston.

A story slam is a competitive event in which storytellers perform their work and are judged by panels made up of professional and non professional storytellers and students from their school. The judges are instructed to give numerical scores based on the storytellers’ content and performance. Cash prizes, divided between the top three finalists at the regional slam, will be no less than $5,000.