Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Apr 01, 2020

(Home Schooled) Storytelling School with The Moth: Weekly Storytelling Activity #2

by Moth EDU

We’re back for our second installment of Home Schooled with The Moth. Because of social distancing in response to COVID-19, a large number of schools all around the world are closed. The Moth’s Education program is publishing a weekly storytelling activity to help parents and educators with some at-home curriculum. 

This week’s story is:

“Pastels and Crayons” by Aleeza Kazmi

Aleeza’s story was featured in our third book, Occasional Magic, you can read it here.

After you’ve watched and read the story, you can do the following activities: 

1. Talk to each other about Aleeza’s story. 

Each week, we’ll highlight a different crafting strategy for how to make your story compelling. This week, we’ll focus on STAKES.  In Moth stories, we find it’s important that the audience understands what the storyteller has to win or lose, or what matters to them. If we understand why it matters to them, it will matter to us as listeners! 

  • How does Aleeza raise the stakes in her story? What details does she include that make it clear what matters to her? 

  • What differences do you notice in the written version of this story from Occasional Magic and the video version? What details are included or left out? 

  • Aleeza told the video version of this story when she was in high school, and the written version was told later at a Moth Mainstage event.  How did the stakes for Aleeza change over time? 

2. Write or tell your own story

Did this story remind you of a story from your own life? While you might not have had Aleeza’s exact experience, you may have had something similar happen to you. Get inspired by these prompt questions to tell your own story!

  • Have you ever really wanted to do well on a class project? 

  • Have you ever had a moment where you saw yourself differently? 

  • Have you ever had a teacher who really changed your outlook?

  • Have you ever stood up for yourself? 

  • Have you ever drawn a self-portrait? (Hint: Keep reading!)

3. Activity

At the start of Aleeza’s story, we find her drawing a self-portrait. This self-portrait, and her teacher's reaction to it, opens up a lot of questions for Aleeza. How do you see yourself? You can use a pencil, some crayons (or maybe even pastels, if you have them) and draw your own self-portrait.

4. Share with a friend!

Click here for activity #3.

The Moth Education Program works with young people and educators to build community through storytelling workshops, performances and innovative resources. To learn more, visit themoth.org/education

P.S. There’s another chapter in this story! Aleeza’s journey with The Moth started in our Education Program, continued with The Moth Mainstage and The Moth Radio Hour and now she is on our full-time staff as an Assistant Producer! 

The Moth Education Program is made possible by generous support from The Kresge Foundation, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charitable Trust, the Kate Spade New York Foundation, and  Alice Gottesman. 

Additional program support is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the New York State Council on the Arts, ConEdison, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.