Tools to Create Your Own Brand of Bedtime Story
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Pirates in the Classroom

Story Creation through Imagination

An innovative and interactive way to teach story development

and storytelling within the educational environment.

Mrs Funk, who teaches 3rd Grade in Orem, UT participated in a Pirates in Pajamas workshop and created a story just for her class. She was kind enough to let us record it, and share the story here. Click on the link below to listen. As more stories (print or audio) are submitted, we will create a link for each classroom to post their stories. Thanks for sharing!

Dewey the Duck (mp3 audio)

by Paige Funk


Storytelling is a highly imaginative art form - it both encourages and develops the skill of creating images in the mind. Children must practice forming images in their mind in order to improve reading, understand and exhibit moral behavior, apply knowledge and solve problems in innovative ways.

Why Pirates?
  • Pirates seek adventure!
  • Pirates aren't afraid to take risks!
  • Pirates don't give up easily!
  • Pirates work together as a team!
  • Pirates work hard to find the 'story-gold'!
  • Pirates know when to 'plunder' a well-established story structure!

This educational program is designed to be implemented as a residency-style program over a multi-day period, though a shorter workshop format program is also available. The schedule and classroom activities are available in several different formats and can be adapted to meet the needs of your classroom. For more information, pricing details, or to schedule Steffani to facilitate this program, send us a message HERE.

Some General Information:

The Pirates in the Classroom program is designed to inspire and motivate children to create, write, and tell stories. When children are motivated to practice these skills, they increase in ability to think and present ideas clearly.

We naturally learn to speak before we learn to write. Since writing is our second language, we are naturally less proficient at it. When children are encouraged to tell their stories - as a way to develop them, they are able to develop ideas more quickly and with more clarity. As a result, their writing also improves.

Simply put, storytelling is not memorizing a story out of a book; it is a wonderful process, in which children learn to think about what they know, why they know it, and how to share their unique voice through a story.

Albert Einstein once commented, "Imagination is greater than knowledge." Great writers, thinkers and problem solvers must use more than knowledge to deal successfully with the world around them. Gaining access to and developing proficiency in using imagination prepares children for dealing with the complicated world around them.

In the story-crafting process, children are introduced to different cultures, people, history, and a wide variety of story genres and forms. They use the creative process to discover their personal connections to the story and the characters - whether real or fictional. Through the process of storytelling, children develop a broader view of themselves and the world as they see how audiences respond to their story. They learn to recall the story details through mental imaging rather than memorization; which helps them gain confidence to speak for themselves and interact with an audience.

What Your Students Will Be Doing

The Pirates in the Classroom interactive workshops are designed to provide a hands-on experience with instruction covering each aspect of the story development process.

Character Development: Children will create dynamic characters for their story through a series of activities designed specifically for character development.

Setting Development: Children will create detailed settings by using sensory imagery. They will learn about using the "five senses plus one" (emotion) to paint a picture with their words.

Guided Story Journey: Children will place their character into their setting as they are guided on an imaginative journey through a time-tested structure of a folktale.

When you read a great book, you do not focus on the words alone, but instead allow the words to fade and literally see the story unfold like a movie in your mind. Through this guided story journey, children get to experience the 'movie in your mind' as a creator instead of a receiver.

Telling Their Story: Children will begin the process of transferring their story from imagination to written words by telling their story to a partner, or in other group situations.

Story Mapping: Children will learn to organize their story into eight important stepping stones, mapping out their story from one point to another, and use this tool as a visual memory prompt to recall the structure and details of their story.

Optional Workshop Aspects:

Coaching: Children will be taught how to listen and appreciate their peers' stroytelling and writing, and how to appropriately provide and receive feedback to fine tune their own stories.

Publishing: Children will be invited to submit their stories for publication online at They will also have the opportunity to create artwork for their story and publish a copy in book form, through the Aspiring Authors program from

Storytelling Performance: Children will receive additional instruction covering aspects of storytelling performance and coaching. Children will receive an individual coaching session and have an opportunity to participate in a final performace.

For more information and details regarding workshop options & structure, what is included, and details about pricing options, please contact Steffani and request a copy of her information packet. This packet provides more details about the residencies and workshops available along with associated fees, covers in detail how storytelling programs address specific aspects of state mandated core curriculum, and also includes information and resources on obtaining grants to help your school fund such programs.