Professional
Development

What People are Saying
  • “This is the best workshop I have ever been to‭! ‬Sherry is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic,‭ ‬and she provided lots of practical ideas we can go right back to the library and use tomorrow!” –Librarian,‭ ‬Knox County‭ (‬TN‭) ‬Public Library

  • "....the finest teacher of the modern craft of storytelling. Period."

    ----Carmen Deedy, storyteller & author​

Sherry Norfolk offers a wide variety of staff development opportunities for educators. She is a professional teaching artist who performs and teaches storytelling nationally and internationally.

  • Adjunct Professor, Lesley University (Integrated Arts in Learning program) 2009-date.

  • Adjunct Professor, East Tennessee State University (Storytelling Masters Program) 2011.

  • Adjunct Professor, Mercer University-Atlanta (1996-1998) and Florida Atlantic University (1987-1988).

  • Co-author of award-winning arts-integration books: The Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum (Libraries Unlimited, 2006) and Literacy Development in the Storytelling Classroom (Libraries Unlimited, 2009), Social Studies in the Storytelling Classroom (Parkhurst Brothers Publishing, forthcoming 2012).

  • Teaching Artist with Tennessee Arts Commission’s Value Plus Schools and Arts360° programs (2009 Teaching Artist of the Year); rostered artist with Mississippi Arts Commission, Georgia Council for the Arts, Louisiana Council for the Arts, Interchange / COCA St. Louis, South Carolina Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission (teaching artist and professional development), Virginia Commission on the Arts

Workshops for Librarians

Storytelling and the Common Core State Standards: A Natural Fit


Explore a multitude of storytelling strategies that Media Specialists and Librarians can use to wholly and authentically integrate research, reading, and writing with Social Studies and Science.




Storytelling for Librarians


Learn to tell stories with style and confidence! In this hands-on, highly interactive introduction to the art of storytelling and its applications in public library children’s services, we’ll explore the ways in which storytelling can enliven and enrich library programming; how to choose and develop an age-appropriate story; and, effective use of voice, body language, gesture and facial expression.




Library Programming with the Brain in Mind


Recent research lays a theoretical basis, providing new insights and perspectives on children’s programming strategies and expectations, while engaging demonstrations and discussions put theory into practice. You’ll leave with new program know-how and ideas, plus a renewed commitment to children’s programming!




Lapsit Programming for Infants and Toddlers


Learn the goals of lapsit programming, gain an understanding of the target audience, learn about the materials, activities and resources that really work, and get a handle on logistics. You’ll leave with basic program know-how, plus ideas for expanding and enhancing existing lapsit programs!




The Moral of the Story: Character Education through Storytelling


eaningful, experiential character lessons can be taught effectively and non-didactically through storytelling! Learn to use storytelling to infuse character education throughout the curriculum, resulting in character education instruction that is meaningful and non-confrontational, and which is accessible to all learning styles and applicable to multiple intelligences.




Teaching Kids to Tell Stories


Learn effective methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn-and-re-tell or create-and-tell stories, thus improving both written and oral communication skills as well as impacting critical thinking skills, increasing poise and enhancing self-esteem, and learning to accept and appreciate the creative efforts of others. Participants will learn: How to create, learn and tell stories; How to coach student tellers; Sources for instructional support; How to integrate student storytelling into the curriculum; and, How to develop student telling as an extra-curricular activity.




Building Blocks to Literacy


ecent research provides new insights and perspectives on the ways storytelling helps lay the best possible foundation for learning in the early childhood classroom. Participants will explore relevant research and its practical applications, engaging in demonstrations and discussions that put theory into practice.




The Summer Library Program: Professional development programming workshop for youth services specialists


High-energy, fast-paced and interactive, this workshop is jam-packed with creative, cost-effective programming ideas for all ages! Sherry brings the collaborative manual to life with hands-on demonstrations of innovative approaches to enliven the summer schedule from beginning to end, including school visits, puppet shows, kick-offs and grand finales, storytimes for preK, book-related programming for K-3 and “tweens,” workshops, crafts, and storytelling! Participants will be energized and inspired by Sherry’s demonstrations of low staff-intensive, low-cost summer reading program ideas for every size library and every size kid. Sherry has led Summer Library Program workshops for the Florida State Library, Louisiana State Library, and Georgia Public Library Services, each customized to the theme and resource requirements of the program and the state




Actions and Options: Participatory Storytelling in Library Programming


This hands-on workshop will explore a variety of ways to transform passive storytimes into active, exciting and rewarding adventures.




Storytelling and Science: The Deepening Spiral


nvestigate various storytelling strategies that librarians can use to engage elementary students in scientific inquiry and creative design strategies.




The Basics of Library Programming for Children


primer in all the basic skills you will need, including but not limited to choosing, preparing and sharing picturebooks, storytelling, fingerplays, puppetry, flannelboards and other novelties, props, creative drama, crafts, and arranging for guest speakers.




Before the Skills: Motivating Readers


n this highly interactive workshop, we examine the current research on reading motivation and engagement, and explore simple, practical and transformative suggestions for creating literacy-rich and motivating classrooms and libraries.




What Struggling Readers Need and How to Provide It: Research-Based Approaches That Really Work!


Recent research has provided startling and encouraging new insights into how to develop proficient readers. Learn about the research findings and how they can be applied in the home, at school and in the library, then create practical strategies for fostering a love of reading and helping kids develop the skills they need.




Storytelling: A Power Tool for Brain-Based Education


earn how the precepts of brain-based educational research can be applied easily and effectively through storytelling, thereby positively affecting test scores and competencies. Participants learn: basic precepts of brain-based research; techniques for applying these precepts through storytelling; ways in which storytelling can help children achieve their learning objectives; ways to use storytelling as an assessment tool for critical thinking skills.




Kids Are Patrons, Too (a workshop for non-children’s staff)


hrough demonstrations, lecture, role play and skits, participants will explore the ways in which each staff member can make young patrons’ library experiences successful and satisfying through positive interaction, appropriate reference techniques, and realistic expectations.





Workshops for Educators

Exploring the Common Core Curriculum through Storytelling


Storytelling is a powerful vehicle for integrating the reading, writing, listening, speaking and research standards of the Common Core Curriculum. It allows the teacher to seamlessly move students towards deeper understanding in both fiction and non-fiction while providing meaningful and relevant ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge and comprehension. In this workshop, participants will explore a wide variety of K-12 lessons that address Language Arts, Social Studies and Science objectives while engaging students in authentic, thought-provoking, and collaborative work. Hands-on, fast-paced, and inspiring!




Hear It! Tell It! Learn It!


Listening, speaking, reading and writing are the cornerstones of literacy, and all four of these elements can be addressed through storytelling! Participants will explore activities that allow children to hear stories being told and to re-tell these stories in large groups, small groups and individually; then, we’ll discover ways to engage early learners in making meaning, understanding story structure, sequencing, understanding cause-and-effect, and developing active vocabulary.




Storytelling: A Power Tool for Brain-Based Education


Teachers will learn how the precepts of brain-based educational research can be applied easily and effectively through storytelling, thereby positively affecting test scores and competencies. Learn how to apply these precepts through storytelling; ways in which storytelling can help children achieve their learning objectives; ways to use storytelling as an assessment tool for critical thinking skills.




Creating a Storytelling Classroom: Character Education through Storytelling


Teachers will learn how meaningful, experiential character lessons can be taught effectively and non-didactically through storytelling; and, how to use storytelling to infuse character education throughout the curriculum. Participants learn: What Character Education is and how storytelling relates to it; How to choose and prepare folktales to help kids develop character traits such as caring, teamwork, respect, honesty and sharing; Sources of stories for character education, Quick-and-easy ways to learn a story to tell, and How to use an instructional model which teaches these traits.




Making Meaning: Turning Pictures into Words


Visual literacy (loosely defined as the ability to find meaning in imagery ranging from simple identification to complex interpretation on contextual, metaphoric and philosophical levels) and visual literacy skills (looking, seeing, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing) are necessary for reading. In this highly interactive workshop, we explore ways teachers can help students develop visual literacy skills and apply them through storytelling and story creation. Participate in lesson demonstrations for primary, elementary and middle school students that deepen understanding in both core curriculum and fine arts standards!




Arts Integration + Understanding by Design = Deeper Learning through the Arts


Teaching is more than covering content, learning is more than merely taking in, and assessment is more than accurate recall. Meaning must be made, and understanding must be earned. Students are more likely to make meaning and gain understanding when they link new information to prior knowledge, relate facts to “big ideas,” explore essential questions, and apply their learning in new contexts. Where does arts integration fit in this process? By bringing the best practices of artists into the classroom as learning tools, students and teachers identify what quality work is and how to produce it in each subject area. Working together to craft meaning, teachers, artists and students become powerful partners in search of understanding. This workshop will provide strategies that empower teachers and artists to collaboratively design meaningful learning experiences for all students. Teachers will explore how integrating arts into education can help students:
• cultivate life-long habits of mind.
• foster deep and personal understandings of standards-based math, science, social studies, language arts and fine arts.
• develop powerfully articulate voices for expression.




Storytelling: a Jumpstart for Narrative Writing (K-2 or 3-5)


Storytelling is an effective way to help children transition from oral/kinesthetic to written language. In this workshop, teachers will be introduced to the use of time-tested folktale frameworks that get kids writing fluently, applying higher-order thinking skill to create and develop their stories. Participants will also be introduced to kinesthetic and oral activities that help children translate their ideas into clear narratives, and to begin to understand the relationship between the written and spoken word.




Storytelling and Science: The Deepening Spiral


nvestigate various storytelling strategies that engage elementary students in scientific inquiry and creative design strategies.




Using Storytelling to Motivate Student Research


torytelling evokes curiosity; curiosity provokes learning! Teaching kids to do research is often hampered by the fact that kids don’t WANT to do research. It simply doesn’t seem relevant or interesting to them. BUT…these Pre K-high school storytelling activities and projects will make kids grab for the books! Experience a variety of kid-tested story-based lessons that engage students in research and Information Literacy standards while addressing core curriculum standards in Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. This workshop is very interactive and participatory – be prepared to dive in!




The Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum


Led by the co-author of The Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum (Libraries Unlimited 2006), this workshop provides a hands-on introduction to the art and its magical ability to engage students in learning. By its nature, storytelling is experiential, engaging, and involving. More classroom teachers are discovering what storytellers have always known: that storytelling can be the springboard for curriculum integration because one need not be limited to the confines of the language arts. Activities from storytelling can span and thereby aid in integrating the entire curriculum. Storytelling nurtures both the imaginative and analytical sides of a student’s brain. “The Storytelling Classroom” is an introduction to this artform and its interdisciplinary, cross-curricular applications




Storytelling in the ESL Classroom


Storytelling offers many ways for an English language student to improve speaking and listening skills. When students listen to stories, they become more proficient in understanding the spoken words, improving vocabulary and fluency. When students tell stories, they can achieve a significant measure of self-confidence and comfort expressing themselves in English. Participants will learn some stories that work successfully for this venture, discuss techniques to encourage students to participate and succeed, and explore extension activities that deepen meaning and help assess understanding.




Teaching Kids to Tell Stories


Teachers will learn effective methods for teaching students of all ages how to learn-and-re-tell or create-and-tell stories, thus improving both written and oral communication skills as well as impacting critical thinking skills, increasing poise and enhancing self-esteem, and learning to accept and appreciate the creative efforts of others.




Building Blocks to Literacy


Recent research provides new insights and perspectives on the ways storytelling helps lay the best possible foundation for learning in the early childhood classroom. Participants will explore relevant research and its practical applications, engaging in demonstrations and discussions that put theory into practice. Participants will also learn how to tell stories with confidence and style! This fun-filled, fast-paced, hands-on workshop will bring out the natural storyteller in each person as they discover creative and effective ways to use voice, body language, gestures and facial expression to bring stories to life effectively for young listeners.