Teaching Storytelling from 8th Graders to College Students
Attention all teachers! This resource is a true hidden gem for all students to jumpstart their creativity and build long lasting communication and collaboration skills.
Story Xperiential made a lasting impact in my classroom. I have five years of experience teaching K-12. During this time, I have found that the art of storytelling has the ability to empower the voices of students of underserved, underrepresented communities. As soon as they learn that their stories matter and that their stories have power, the students develop a sense of pride in authorship. And, what better way to learn storytelling than from the multiple-Oscar-winning team at Pixar?
I am always finding ways to incorporate new technology into my classroom, and I’ve found the Pixar model both accessible and engaging. Through this program, there is a link between the students and the professionals that you really can’t get anywhere else. Students of all ages (and adults alike) already trust and connect with this world-renowned studio, and it made the students more open to learn and practice the concepts each week.
We had content for weeks! 8 weeks to be exact. When students finished the program they couldn’t wait to start it again. Because the program doesn’t require fancy or expensive technology, EVERY ONE of my students was able to complete the program and receive a certificate. They were so proud, and we even had a school-wide screening to celebrate their accomplishments.
I am an educator and an independent Chicano Filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. I’ve worked at major film studios, and that’s why I can recognize the true value of this program: these skills are used on a daily basis in real-life careers, and not just those limited to art—they’re useful in every industry because the coursework relies on collaboration, communication, and cooperation. This is why I continue to be an Xperiential teacher even as I teach middle school, high school and college-level classes.
The insights I’ve gotten into my students’ thought processes have been so enlightening and the most unexpected surprise of this journey. Students share ideas and feelings that are very profound and inspiring. And, because Story Xperiential is a safe environment that nourishes creativity, the students open up to each other in a way that’s respectful and positive—it’s done wonders for our classroom culture and school climate.
Inclusivity is at the core of this program—whether you enjoy drawing, telling stories, or voice-acting, there’s a role here for you. Every voice and story matters. Please, share yours!
Thank you Story Xperiential, I can’t wait for the things you have in store for the future!
About the Author
Jorge Flores is an artist, activist and educator who lives with his wife and son in Lancaster, California. He has over a decade of experience working in major studios such as the Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros Television. His commitment and passion to equity, social justice, and new opportunities is an integral part of his lessons.