Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Jul 21, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Weekly Storytelling Activity #23

by Moth EDU

Lesson #23: RELATIONSHIPS: "Okay To Tell"- Emely Recinos

Here’s another Storytelling School with The Moth! We are in the midst of a difficult time that can feel hard to process, both for ourselves and for our young people. For this week’s blog, we’re taking a look at a story about sharing a secret.

This week’s Storytelling School story is:

“Okay To Tell” by Emely Recinos

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

1. Talk to each other about Emely’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 RELATIONSHIPS.  Who we are is partly defined by the people in our lives who have influenced us. It’s just as important to clearly describe relationships in a Moth story as it is to introduce yourself as a character. 

  • What do we learn about Emely’s relationship with her brother in this story? What details does she include? 
  • Emely’s brother is in the background until he becomes ‘present’ in her mind and present in the story. What are other examples of how the structure of a story can mirror the storyteller’s experience?
  • The title of this story is “Okay To Tell”. How do you define (for yourself or for your students) what is ‘okay to tell’ and when it’s the right time to do so

2. Let’s Play “Have You Ever”

Raise your hand if …

  • You’ve ever tried hard to fit in 
  • You’ve ever felt like the expectations of the group you were trying to fit in with didn’t make sense
  • You’ve ever been worried that others would label you
  • You’ve ever pretended something wasn’t happening
  • You’ve ever had a relative who wasn’t paying attention or you thought they weren’t paying attention
  • You’ve ever been embarrassed in front of family or friends
  • You’ve ever pretended you knew something 
  • You’ve ever felt like the world had stopped
  • You’ve ever felt hurt by a sibling or other family member
  • You’ve ever realized that it would help to let people in

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. Activities

  • For Emely, it was helpful to share her diagnosis with her brother. Is there something you’ve been wanting to share with someone? It can feel good to share parts of yourself with others, so why not share now! You could write a letter, make a phone call, or send a DM!

  • Many of us have probably had a moment where we felt like we had to fit into a certain idea of who to be. What’s something unique about you? Or something that makes you stand out? Celebrate it! Post about it, share it with someone, or just revel in your own awesomeness by yourself!

4. Share this post with a friend!

And check back Tuesday for another story.

Be sure to check out All Together Now, Fridays with The Moth, wherever you listen to your podcasts, new every Friday!

The Moth first met Emely Recinos in 2013 at The Beacon School in Manhattan. She continued to participate in The Moth at her school and even went on to perform in a High School GrandSLAM.

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.