Improvisational Story Writing Workshop

Don’t struggle — create. This is Mark’s revolutionary writing workshop.
60-90 minutes. Grades 3 to 12 and adults
Single day, multiple days - Hands on and energetic!
Participants will create characters, set a scene, unfold a plot.
Over the course of the session(s), every single participant will begin to craft a complete story.

This workshop teaches:

  • Improvisational creativity in written form
  • Story structure
  • Elements of narrative
  • How to integrate and reincorporate ideas
  • The importance of rewriting and revision
  • How to overcome the blank page/writer’s block

Mark will also:

  • Tell stories
  • Discuss and distinguish the differences between the written and oral traditions
  • Answer questions
  • Provide coaching and support
  • Explain how structure applies to non-fiction essays

Sample Writing Workshop Residency Schedule for elementary or middle schools

  • 8:45-9:45 - Assembly with all classes to outline and teach methodology
  • 10am - in classroom writing practice, modeling and coaching
  • 11am - in classroom writing practice, modeling and coaching
  • 1pm - in classroom writing practice, modeling and coaching
  • 2pm - in classroom writing practice, modeling and coaching

Note: This schedule would be adjusted based on school bell timings.

The teachers thought he did a great job getting their students motivated to write!
—Janice Mowry, Principal, Hope Elementary School

To read an article in the Cranston Herald about the workshop, please click here

Where does the workshop fit in the Common Core Standards? Click here for more info

Workshop variations include…

Speak it! Write it!

45 minutes. Grades 2 and up.
This entertaining program is more presentation that workshop. It addresses the distinctions between writing something down and telling it aloud. Contrasts reading text versus telling a story. Includes tips, tricks and time for questions.

From Inspiration through Craft

60-90 minutes. Grades 3 and up.
Story Writing and Story Telling for Elementary and Middle Schools. This workshop focuses on the process of developing, shaping, editing and refining a story. The program includes both storytelling, audience participation, and writing exercises.

Like Improv… but written down!

What if you could sit and dash off a short piece of fiction? You don't need to suffer about every word or idea. This workshop will give you access to your instant imagination in a way that you never thought was possible. By the end of the session, you will have completed, or be well into, a first draft of a short story. (45, 90, 120 minutes)

"What a terrific challenge. More than I expected!"
"This was the 'seed' I needed to help push me to start my own stories. Thanks so much!"
- Feedback from adult workshop presented at "Sharing The Fire"

90 to 120 minutes. Multiple sessions possible during residency. Appropriate for adult workshops, high school, junior high school, and school grades 3 through high school. Requirements: Desk space, paper and pencils for all students. White or chalk board.

Eureka! Math Workshops for Educators of Adult Learners and Youngsters

How can story and storytelling break through the barriers that adults and young people have about math? Storytelling can help reduce math anxiety, and reach the people who think "I just can't do math."

This 90 to 120 minute workshop includes stories, theory, and practical methods to develop and tell stories in classroom settings. Can be presented in conjunction with Eureka! Math story program.
Developed with funding from the Rhode Island Department of Education Innovative Project Grant

Reading and Telling Stories with Young People (Literacy and Storytelling)

Program for Adults, Parents, Teachers, Caregivers

hugsHow can parents read and tell stories more effectively to their children? What other tools can teachers use to communicate with their students? Learn the basics of story telling and story reading.

Intent and goal: To give parents basic tools to feel more comfortable telling stories with their children. Gives teachers and others ideas and tips for adding depth to their work.

"Parents, caregivers and teachers were entertained and educated by storyteller and author Mark Binder. His workshop, Telling and Reading Stories to Children , was an exciting mix of storytelling, factual information and practical strategies for home and school use...."
-- Joan Serra, Families Learning Together, Westerly Public Schools.

This program includes storytelling, conversation and lecture, tips and tricks, reading demonstrations and more stories.

It has been presented for a variety of different groups:

  • Parents of young children
  • Teachers and caregivers
  • Adult Ed and Literacy Programs
  • Families together

Each group gets a slightly different focus. For example, teachers will often get an opportunity to practice and get coaching. The program is often dovetailed with a book signing and giveaway.

60 to 90 minutes. Program for adults or program for all ages.

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