A Story telling seminar was organized by Dr. Evaggelia Karagianni, ELT State School advisor for Eastern Attika and was hosted at the premises of Ellinogermaniki Agogi. The four-hour workshop was divided in two sections.  The first workshop was primarily aimed at High school teachers and was delivered by Mrs. Zafi Mandali, Head of the Department of English at Ellinogermaniki Agogi.

Mrs. Mandali defined the meaning of storytelling in education, demonstrated tested and tried out techniques  and underlined the benefits of storytelling in education. She illustrated her points through stories, shared imaginative ideas which activate students’ curiosity, imagination and expression. The workshop mainly focused on the “Out of Art and into Storytelling” project running in Ellinogermaniki Agogi.

The participants were divided into teams and were given a mini tutorial about the language of Art. Each team was assigned a different genre of Art. Some were Realists, others Impressionists, Cubists, Surrealists or Abstract Art.  Each group had to choose one out of four paintings of each category, and brainstorm ideas about which elements to use in making the story of the painting.

A representative of each group presented the painting to the rest of the participants. In this way, Mrs. Mandal showcased how paintings enrich class experiences, kindle the creative part of students, and engage them in story creation, both collaboratively and individually. The samples of students’ presentations given, proved how the end product of this task-based learning blends language-learning, social and cultural awareness along with improvisation, creation and presentation skills.

The second workshop was primarily aimed at Primary school teachers and evolved around Storytelling, Story making and Story acting in class. It was conducted by Mrs. Sara Soulou, coordinator of Primary school at Ellinogermaniki Agogi. Mrs. Soulou focused on story types, which entail repetitive language, chanting, singing, and kinesthetic activities. She also demonstrated how stories can be tailored to meet the students’ needs, instill confidence and help develop their expressive skills.  Techniques of story maps, story sticks and story paths were Illustrated and samples of follow-up activities and retelling games were given. Props, masks, dramatization puppets and the “Kamishibai” theatre telling were exemplified.

The “take aways” of the teachers attending were rich. Comments of gratitude were extended to the organizers. The feelings were that the “getting together” in person after the Covid distancing had been more than welcome and effectively practical.