ABOVE: ‘The Blue Coat’, an earlier version of the Wonderful Coat, based on a Jewish folktale, ‘The Tailor’, by Nancy Schimmel.
For professional development training for staff, including team building, or workshops for parents, see Schools Workshops.
Interwoven with chants, participative actions, song, your students could hear two to three of the following stories. Afterwards, they can ask questions about the stories. With enough notice, Jenni is very happy to develop a story set to fit a particular theme your pre- school is working on, if she has suitable tales in her repertoire. She may need time to dust some older ones off and re-weave them, or even weave a new one!
Stories for Preschool Listeners
‘The Wonderful Coat’ An endearing story with themes of family, perseverance, kindness, generosity, repair, loss, legacy, grief and recycling. A gender neutral version of a circular Jewish folktale, designed for maximum participation. Watch a video of Jenni telling it as the Blue Coat here.
‘The Cracked Pot’ A girl uses two earthenware pots to draw water from the stream each day. When one pot tells the other she is cracked, she is heartbroken and begs her owner to replace her. But the owner loves the pot just as she is and shows the cracked pot the beauty her crack generates. Themes of self-acceptance, generosity, kindness, the pain of gossip, taking care of our tools. Japanese kamishibai or paper theatre.
‘Two Russian Goats’ A lively, dramatic story for acting out with two child actors as goats about co-operation and kindness. From the album ‘The Mermaid’s Shoes. Listen here.
‘Never Give up’ about a very persistent frog. Theme: persistence, courage. From the album ‘Reaching for the Moon. Listen here.
‘The Mermaid’s Shoes’ I tell a simplified, shortened version for preschoolers of my ever-popular original story about the Mermaid of Byron Bay and my magical storytelling shoes, with participative refrains. Theme: Respect for the ocean and self-acceptance. Watch here.
‘Froko and Lettuce’ The simple true story of the frogs who came to live at Jenni’s house. Inspires care for wildlife. Listen here.
‘Rat’ A story told with the hypnotic and evocative sounds of the zyladrum. Rat wants to become anything but a rat, yet by the end of many transformations, being a rat looks better and better. A Chinese folktale with themes of contentment and self-acceptance. Listen here.
‘Tanabato Soma’ Children love to hear the story and sing the poignant song from the Star Festival of Japan. Two children play bells and all the children join in with hand actions. From the album “Molly Whuppie and other wonder tales’. Listen here.
‘Caps for Sale’ Indian Panchatantra folktale. An amusing story about an Indian hat seller has all her hats stolen by a band of monkeys. She yells and threatens them, but that doesn’t work. When finally she gets her hats back, she comes to understand the saying, “Monkey see, monkey do”.
Matryoshka or nesting dolls ~ as props for generational family stories ~ watch 5 min video here
The children were spellbound listening to Jenni’s story of the woman who made hats and those cheeky monkeys! The next day they returned to class asking for more. It was wonderful having Jenni visit our school and share her knowledge and passion for storytelling. We are in turn inspired to keep telling stories, especially stories from the land and the world around us.
Jenni visited our Steiner School in Armidale and shared her stories and deep knowledge of storytelling with parents, teachers and the children- both young and old. The wonderful effects just keep rippling through our school community! Jenni is a consummate storyteller and answered questions raised by teachers and parents alike with a deep understanding and sensitivity to the moment, to the question beneath the question in a sense.
Jenni’s stories came straight from the heart and filled the air with magic and wonder. Her use of simple props, percussion instruments and active participation of children, interspersed with her beautiful singing voice enabled her performance to be received by all the 3-6 year olds in the group.