Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: May 05, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Bi-Weekly Storytelling Activity #11

by The Moth Staff

Lesson #11: Thoughts and Feelings:  "Teacher Talent Show"- Tim Manley

It’s a new week and there’s a new 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. Until Friday, and as always, thanks for your support!

The story is:

“Teacher Talent Show” by Tim Manley

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

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

1. Talk to each other about Tim’s story. 

For each post, we’ll highlight a different crafting strategy for how to make your story compelling. This week, we highlight THOUGHTS and FEELINGS.  It is very compelling when a storyteller can let us in on what they are thinking and feeling inside, particularly when that may be in contrast to what they are expressing outwardly.  Most stories are driven by external conflict, but because Moth stories are always told from the teller’s perspective, they also often include internal conflict. In the Education program, we encourage our storytellers to give us more of their THOUGHTS and FEELS (see the name of Tim’s web series in his bio!)!

  • How does Tim use internal dialogue in his story to let us in on his thoughts and feelings?

  • Can you identify some of the principles from past posts in this story? 

    • What is the CHANGE for Tim in this story?

    • What are the STAKES for Tim and what DETAILS does he include that help us understand what matters to him or what he has to win or lose?

    • What THEMES can you identify in this story?

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 Tim’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 it was your first day on the job

  • Tell us about a time you were in over your head and had to call your mom or someone else you trust

  • Tell us about a time you helped a friend even when it wasn’t in your own best interest

  • Tell us about a time you felt like all of your fears about yourself were correct

  • Tell us about a time you felt jealous of your younger, braver self

  • Tell us about a time you felt inspired by your younger, braver self

  • Tell us about a time you overcame your fears

3. Activities

  • Do you have a talent you’re proud of? Maybe it’s one that everyone knows or maybe it’s a hidden talent. Perform it for someone you live with or for a friend/family member over video conference or go ahead and host your own show! And if you’re really feeling confident, post it and tag us @mothstories, we’d love to see!
  • Do you have a favorite joke? Or maybe you have a talent for coming up with them? Brighten someone’s day by telling them a joke!

    • If you don’t have any in your arsenal, here are a few suggestions

4. Share this post with a friend!

Click here for activity #12.

Tim Manley is a writer, director, and storyteller. His true stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, Gimlet Media’s Surprisingly Awesome, and in his FringeFAVE solo show, Feelings. He is also the writer and illustrator of the book Alice in Tumblr-land, and the creator of the Streamy winning web series, The Feels.  He is also a long time instructor with The Moth’s Community and Education programs. 

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.