Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: May 26, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Storytelling Activity #15

by Moth EDU

Lesson #15: SCENE and SUMMARY: "My Dangerous Beauty Mission" - Esther Ngumbi

Happy Tuesday! 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. See you again on Tuesday, and as always, thanks for your support! 

Don’t forget to check out All Together Now, Fridays with The Moth, wherever you listen to your podcasts!

This week’s Storytelling School story is:

“My Dangerous Beauty Mission” by Esther Ngumbi

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

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

1. Talk to each other about Esther’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 SCENE and SUMMARY.  A story is most effective when you have at least one vivid scene that includes sensory details, action, dialogue, and inner thoughts and feelings.  Stories also require effective use of summary to move us through time and give us just the key details we need, like a montage in a movie.

  • What scenes could you really picture in Esther’s story? 

  • How did Esther use summary effectively?

  • With schools closed right now, how do you value education differently? What are some things you value education over?

2. 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 Esther’s exact experience, it still may have reminded you of a story from your own life. Get inspired by these prompt questions to tell your own story!

  • Tell us about a time you wanted something your family did not allow

  • Tell us about a time you wanted to fit in

  • Tell us about a time a friend made you jealous

  • Tell us about a time you took matters into your own hands

  • Tell us about a time you got caught

  • Tell us about a time you valued education over beauty

3. Activity

Complete this word search by finding some of the words that stood out to us from Esther’s story!

4. Share this post with a friend!

And check back next Tuesday for another story.

Dr. Esther Ngumbi is a 2007 recipient for the highly competitive American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship. She has been featured in the AAUW celebrating 125 years of fellowships and grants views and on the cover of AAUW’s highly acclaimed national research report: “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” Dr. Ngumbi is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in Auburn University, Alabama. She has worked with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGIU) where she served two terms as a Commitment Mentor and with AAWU in various capacities. Esther was named by One World Action as one of the 100 powerful women who change the world. She continues to be a global leader, motivational speaker and is passionate about issues related to hunger, gender, education, youth activism and sustainability.

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.