Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: May 12, 2020

Storytelling School with The Moth: Bi-Weekly Storytelling Activity #13

by Moth EDU

Lesson #13: COURAGE: "Walking Together"- Truly Johnson

Same old Tuesday, brand 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.

Starting this week, Storytelling School with The Moth will be moving to once-a-week on Tuesdays because starting this Friday, The Moth Podcast is offering a new and exciting weekly series called All Together Now, Fridays with The Moth. Just like these blog posts, it features stories that everyone - your kids, your grandma, your roommate - can enjoy together, along with story prompts that will get you talking to one another.  Think of it as a book club for Moth stories! Catch it wherever you listen to your podcasts, every Friday, starting THIS week on May 15 and running until September 4. Thanks, as always, for your support!

This week’s Storytelling School story is:

“Walking Together” by Truly Johnson

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

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

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

For each post, we’ll highlight a different crafting strategy for how to make your story compelling. This week, we highlight: COURAGE. We ask educators who are bringing storytelling to their classrooms to think about how they can build trust with their students and create the safest space possible for their student storytellers to engage in the brave and generous act of listening to each other’s stories. We often build a Community Agreement together before we dive into the work to help us define how we want to support (and be supported) by one another. This SLAM at School of the Future was Truly’s first Moth SLAM and the theme that day was RISK. While Truly might have been nervous to tell her story, the support of her team and the choices she made about what to include (and maybe what to leave out) gave her the strength to get on the stage that day to tell this beautiful, moving story of friendship.  She would go on to tell many more stories after this!

  • Courage is defined differently for each person. What moments show us Truly’s courage in the events of this story or how it was told?

  • In The Moth’s Education program workshops, we often include: “Your story, Your choice” in the community agreement to remind us of the storyteller’s agency over their story. What might that guideline mean practically to you? As an educator? Or as a student?

  • What would your “Community Agreement” look like if you were telling stories or facilitating a space for your students to do so?

2. Let’s Play “Have You Ever”

Raise your hand if …

  • You’ve ever had a dear friend move away

  • You’ve ever felt socially awkward

  • You’ve ever watched the squirrels

  • You’ve ever made silly jokes in the park with a friend

  • You’ve ever done a scavenger hunt

  • You’ve ever walked around the block just to think about life

  • You’ve ever been to The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • You’ve ever had no one to eat lunch with

  • You’ve ever been scared to talk to someone

  • You’ve ever stood outside of a place and deliberated about whether to go inside

  • You’ve ever taken a risk to make a friend

  • You’ve ever known you had someone who would walk with you

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

  • Let’s do a scavenger hunt! Even if we can’t leave our neighborhoods right now, there are still lots of things to see, both inside and out. Can you find the following things?
    • Inside: a work of art (could be by you or a famous artist), a left shoe with laces, a right shoe without laces, a toy/game/item you haven’t played with in a long time, page 10 of your favorite book (don’t rip it out! Just reread and appreciate it), a fancy (whatever that means to you!) item of clothing, a spoon, something that writes in pink (pen, marker, crayon, etc.), an old birthday card, and a pillow.

    • Outside: a squirrel, a budding plant, a stick longer than your foot, a crack in the sidewalk, an interestingly shaped cloud, a puddle, three pinecones, a street sign, graffiti or chalk drawing, and a fire hydrant.

    • Feel free to send us pics of what you find! (tag us @mothstories or send to education@themoth.org)

4. Share this post with a friend!

Click here for activity #14.

The Moth met Truly Johnson when she was a student at School of the Future in Manhattan in New York City in 2013. Truly went on to participate in The Moth at her school for the next two years, including a High School GrandSLAM in December 2013.

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.