Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Aug 10, 2021

Storytelling School with The Moth: Monthly Storytelling Activity #40

by The Moth Staff

Lesson #40: CHANGE: "Model Magic"- Isobel Connelly

It’s time for our 40th Storytelling School with The Moth! Can you believe we’re here already? As we start to think about returning to school, it’s important to remember there are so many ways to show our intelligence and be successful. For this month’s blog, we’re taking a look at a story about embracing your strengths.

This week’s Storytelling School story is:

“Model Magic” by Isobel Connelly


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

Talk to each other about Isobel’s story. 

For each post, we’ll highlight a different crafting strategy for how to make your story compelling. For this post, we’ll focus on CHANGE. At The Moth, we talk about change* as the living, breathing heart of a story, but change doesn’t always happen overnight! There is often a series of events that lead to a significant shift in perspective. Isobel does a great job of taking us through many years of her life in this story, zooming in on a few key moments that lead to the revelation she reaches in the final lines.

  • What specific things change for Isobel throughout this story? 

  • In addition to the events in this story, what does Isobel include about what she is thinking and feeling that help us understand what is shifting for her over time? 

  • Isobel’s bio (below) reads like a very fitting epilogue to this story. How does knowing something about the teller affect how we respond to a story?

*See previous post about CHANGE 

Write or tell your own story.

At The Moth, we believe in celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience. Often, listening to someone’s story will remind us of a story from our own lives. While you almost definitely have not had Isobel’s exact experience, it still may have reminded you of a story from your life. Get inspired by these prompt questions to tell your own story!


  • Tell us about a time you worried there was something off about you 

  • Tell us about a time you felt stupid 

  • Tell us about a time you tricked everybody 

  • Tell us about a time you tried to keep up an image

  • Tell us about a time something that was hurtful also motivated you

  • Tell us about a time you pushed yourself

  • Tell us about a time you used your imagination

  • Tell us about a time you were frustrated with yourself 

  • Tell us about a time you found love for your younger self

  • Tell us about a time you found what you love to do


  • Have you ever played with Model Magic? If you have some, what kind of village would you build? If you don’t have any, you can draw it OR you can watch this video which teaches you how to make your own Model Magic!

Share this post with a friend!
And check back the second Tuesday of next month for another story.

Storyteller bio

Isobel Connelly is a graphic designer working at Mullen Lowe. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her cat Elizabeth. In her spare time, she makes silly drawings and collages.

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

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

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.