Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: May 08, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Bi-Weekly Storytelling Activity #12

by Moth EDU

Lesson #12: IDENTITY: "Beware The Fun Nun"- Shana Creaney

Friday? More like Fri-YAY! Because here’s another Storytelling School with The Moth! The Moth’s Education program is publishing these storytelling activities to help parents and educators with some at-home curriculum. Have a wonderful weekend and can’t wait to see you Tuesday. As always, thanks for your support!

The story is:

“Beware The Fun Nun” by Shana Creaney

You can read the transcript of Shana’s story here.

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

1. Talk to each other about Shana’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 IDENTITY.  In The Moth’s Education program, we often begin workshops with introductions and the prompt: “I’m the kind of person who_____”. Storytellers can finish that prompt a hundred different ways, but whatever they choose to share can be the seed of a story! In Moth stories, we are essentially showing the audience a 5-minute self portrait of who we are or who we were at one point in our lives, but it is up to you what you wish to disclose.

  • What clues does Shana give us about what ‘kind of person’ she was when the events of this story took place?

  • As storytellers, we also have to give the audience a portrait of the other characters in the story. What details vividly introduce us to Sister John and Mrs. Stout?

  • How do you think the events of this story may have changed Shana or how she sees herself? 

2. Let’s Play “Have You Ever”

Raise your hand if … 

  • You’ve ever felt like you didn’t fit into the stereotype

  • You’ve ever felt misunderstood or 

  • You’ve ever known someone who was meaner than most people thought

  • You’ve ever not done your homework

  • You’ve ever worn your pajamas out of the house

  • You’ve ever felt embarrassed at school 

  • You’ve ever had a teacher who made you feel smart and strong

  • You’ve ever felt forced to say you were grateful for something 

  • You’ve ever eavesdropped

  • You’ve ever felt validated by someone sticking up for you

  • You’ve ever applied yourself and achieved something other people didn’t believe you could do

Did you raise your hand? If you raised your hand even once, that’s a story you could tell! Find someone to tell it to and try out a draft!

3. Activity

  • Plan a spirit week for your class, your office, or those living with you! Dressing up is always fun and becomes extra special if you’ve been wearing sweatpants for the past several weeks.

    • As an example, The Moth’s Education team instated a spirit week for the whole Moth staff and our dress up days were: Pajama Day on Monday, Crazy hair/hat Day on Tuesday, Halloween on Wednesday, Decades Day on Thursday (choose any decade to dress as), and finally, Fancy Friday.

    • Tag us in your pics (@mothstories) or send them our way (education@themoth.org)!

4. Share this post with a friend!

Click here for activity #13.

Shana Creaney received her Bachelor's from Fordham University and her MA in Literature from City College. She attended The Moth's Young Women's Voices Festival and her story was featured on the 10th Anniversary podcast. She has had poetry published at The Poetry Shed and her fiction appears in Sword and Sorcery Magazine, while productions of comedy sketches and longform plays have been staged through Fordham University, Poor Mouth Theater, and The Tank. In addition to being a Moth Teaching Intern, she currently teaches the freshman writing courses at City College. Her writing was longlisted for the Stauch Prize and she is a graduate of the Locus Writing Worksop. She has presented at City College's annual Graduate Student Literature Association and Pacific American Modern Language Association academic conferences. She is a native of the Bronx  and enjoys strong tea, bad weather, and treating pop culture as high brow.

We first met Shana as a storyteller at The Moth’s Young Women’s Voices Festival with CUNY students funded by the Kate Spade Foundation. She is currently a teaching intern in The Moth’s Community and Education programs. 

Professional development opportunity!

If you're an active 5th-12th grade teacher and have been enjoying bringing these Moth stories home, join us for our Moth Teacher Institute! “MTI” will take place virtually from Monday, July 13th to Friday, July 17th.  Learn to build and foster a storytelling community in your classroom through a week of workshops, panels, and performances. Click here to learn more and apply by Friday, May 22nd!

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 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.