Thursday, September 19, 2013

The StoryBox Project: connecting the world through story

(This is part 2 of my description of my students' first day with Kevin Cordi's StoryBox Project!)

So after my students and I contemplated the power of words and shared our thoughts, and after I told them about experiencing the StoryBoxes at CAWP, I reached behind my desk and revealed the surprise: 
the CAWP StoryBox!
My students are now part of an international network of people who value stories and want to share them!  We are keepers of the StoryBox, charged with appreciating it, adding to it, and passing it on!

I began pulling out stories and reading where they were from: Tennessee, West Virginia, Australia, schools around Columbus... so many exciting stories!  But I also pointed out that despite the variety already in the box, it's mostly empty, because this box is just starting its journey... so we have the opportunity to get it off to a good start!
Drop Off Box
(This picture links to the electronic story submission form.  Join us by sharing your own story!)
As I stepped back from the box, my students immediately dove in.
Some grabbed CDs and ran to the computers to listen to audio-stories.  Others grabbed a story and sat down with a partner to read together.  Still others clutched a packet of stories and curled up to lose themselves in it.

At the end of class, I knew we had to do something special to cement the excitement and gravity of the StoryBox.  I displayed Kevin's StoryBox Pledge on the screen, and we all stood up and recited it in unison.  When I was planning this, I had been slightly nervous that high schoolers would think that was dumb, but the solemnity of their voices and the pride in their eyes showed me that I had nothing to fear. (One class did make me close the door though, presumably so no hallway wanderer would look in and, as an outsider to our community, think we were weird!)

To remind them of this special day and keep them excited about the project, all students got to choose from a selection of bookmarks I made:
On one side, each bookmark has the StoryBox Pledge and one of the 8 quotations about writing/stories that I had shared at the very beginning of class. On the other side, students are reminded that their words are a gift.
(Just the quotation at the top is different on each of the 8 styles.)
Please make this project even more meaningful by submitting your own story or requesting to have the StoryBox visit you!

"We all have stories that are meant to travel—to be read or experienced by someone else." 
-- StoryBox Founder Kevin Cordi

Follow the journey of the StoryBox on Twitter with #storyboxproject and check back here for more posts about our experience with this exciting project!

1 comment:

  1. We are so excited to have the storybox here at Village! Today was the first day it was in our school and our students had a great time. They found wonderful serendipitous connections already- someone found a former teacher, someone else found a long-lost friend... many found people from different countries, varied experiences, and still (somehow) similar tales. They all want me to thank you and your students for organizing the box before it came to us!


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