Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Mar 09, 2021

Storytelling School with The Moth: Storytelling Activity #35

by Moth EDU

Lesson #35: TRUST "The Beginning Of The Rest Of Life"- Jahvannia Darlin

Welcome back to Storytelling School with The Moth! The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and we can’t wait for it to finally be spring! It’s been almost a year since our first blog and we appreciate your continued engagement and support as we explore and discuss stories. For this month’s blog, we’re taking a look at a story about seeking acceptance from loved ones.

This month’s Storytelling School story is:

“The Beginning Of The Rest Of Life” by Jahvannia Darlin

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

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

Talk to each other about Jahvannia’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 TRUST. Telling a true, personal story is like confiding in a friend. You’re telling the audience something real about you that even your friends or family might not know (at least when the story begins). Jahvannia lets the audience in on the secret she’s keeping at the beginning of this story, so when she tells us how she’s afraid to tell her own family, we feel the tension alongside her and we’re rooting for her to find the acceptance she deserves.

  • How does Jahvannia use inner dialogue to let us into her thoughts and feelings in this story?

  • How does Jahvannia explain the stakes* of this story to us? What details does she include that help us understand what matters to her? 

  • When we tell a true story from our lives, we’re asking the listeners to hold space for our truth.  One way to do that might be to share a secret, as Jahvannnia does. What other ways can you build trust with the audience? 

*Please see this previous blog post on STAKES to see examples with another story 

Let’s Play “Have You Ever”

Raise your hand if … 

  • You’ve ever done what you were supposed to do

  • You’ve ever had feelings that you pushed aside

  • You’ve ever wanted to reach out to friends or family, but couldn’t

  • You’ve ever been scared to reveal something because of how you’ve seen others treated for revealing something similar 

  • You’ve ever stalked a crush on social media

  • You’ve ever lied to your family about who you were spending time with

  • You’ve ever been worried about your family meeting your significant other

  • You’ve ever sat in silence with someone

  • You’ve ever found acceptance when you least expected it

  • You’ve ever had hope that the world is changing for the better

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!


  • Do you remember your first big crush? Or maybe you're still crushing on that person? If you could write them a note or message back then or now, what would you want to say? What made them catch your eye?

  • Are you a 10th-12th grader living in the United States, outside of NYC, and want to practice storytelling? Apply for All Country!  Applications are OPEN for our FREE virtual storytelling program! All Country is a 7-week virtual workshop for 10th-12th graders living anywhere in the US to meet new people, brainstorm ideas, play games and tell their stories. The application deadline is March 22nd, and workshops start April 3rd. Find out more HERE.

Share this post with a friend!

And check back the second Tuesday of every month for another story.

Storyteller bio

We first met Jahvannia Darlin as a sophomore at Brooklyn High School for the Arts in 2017. She went on to share this story at the 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.