Australian history/English incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Storytelling & Writing
Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Storytelling Workshop
Primary & Secondary
In this workshop Jan tells stories, explains how they work
and gets the students making up their own stories.
$5 per student with minimum $500 per workshop
Travel/accom/ road toll costs may apply in some locations
The workshop can last between 60 – 90 minutes, and can be varied according to the needs of the school
Number can very from 25 – 100, also depending on what the school want sot get out of the workshop
For thousands of years stories have been our most powerful way of communicating. Stories are embedded in our religions, books, films and teaching.
My love of storytelling began with my refugee family telling tales of their journeys to Australia.
Then as a teenager I boasted a prodigious repertoire of jokes – our most basic form of three-part story structure.
And growing up in the Dandenong Ranges out of Melbourne I spent a lot of time swinging a pick with the local ‘old blokes’ who during ‘smoko’ would spin yarns of tramping on the dole during the Great Depression or being a guard at the Cowra Breakout during WW2.
Later I got interested in mythology and theatre, and oral history with such people at Phar Lap’s strapper, Tommy Woodcock, and later again I began script-writing documentaries for radio and television, bringing a basis of story to all these projects.
Incorporating all my storytelling influences I go back to the original storyteller, the person around the campfire, with only his or her voice, body, a musical instrument and an occasional prop to paint a picture, and I tell various stories: Australian Dreaming stories (with permission); Greek myths; outrageous yarns; personal tales; song stories and parables from around the world.
I talk about how these stories work, their structure and their purpose in showing us how to express ourselves, resolve conflict and live our lives.
The workshop can stop at this point, or go on as I guide students in the telling their own stories, either orally or in writing; assisting them in structuring, sticking to the theme and fleshing out the detail.
Curriculum – VELS
Whilst there’s no subject called ‘storytelling’ in curriculum, storytelling is the oldest, most versatile and entertaining way to educate. The telling of stories can be applied to any curriculum area at any level.
Teachers can take elements of this workshop to use in their teaching. Students can take tips from my storytelling to use in their class work or assignments.