“When the brain contains a large vocabulary of materials, it is like having cabinets full of treasure. With this treasure, a child can imagine, build relationships, realize ideas for projects, make constructions and contraptions, and, in a word, think.”
Ann Lewin-Benham
We know that children walk into school doors full of story. At the same time, we’ve all witnessed - and experienced - the apparent disconnect that can happen when children are handed a piece of paper and a pencil or a keyboard and asked to write that story. Our experience - with story workshop in the primary grades and with literacy studio in the intermediate years - has shown us that tools of the arts can be an incredible conduit in supporting young authors’ efforts to bring those stories into the world.

We’ve designed this course for people working with children ages 3-10 who are interested in deepening their practice in regards to the intersection of literacy and the arts. We hope that it will be supportive of your personal professional journey regardless of whether you have extensive experience with story workshop and literacy studio or are brand new to the approaches. We'll focus on the role of the arts in sparking writing. You'll leave with an increased, personal and professional understanding of the relationship between literacy and the arts as well as new ideas about how to prepare and organize your materials in ways that inspire young writers. We’ll experiment with practice and construct new practice-based theories together.

“I have been experimenting with materials during our Story Workshop and have been incorporating loose parts, small world play, watercolor, paper collage, and clay. The children are so engaged and alive and I can truly say that all children can access Story Workshop because of the variety of materials available. I think of one of my Kinders, who is an English Learner, who also has challenges with speech, and I see what stories come alive for him. I see his willingness to share those stories out loud to the community. But what has struck me about the use of materials with him is seeing his genius come alive. To see the balance in his composition when using paper collage. To hear the brilliant stories that live there. THAT has been a testament to the power of materials in Story Workshop.”

We’ll start by diving into the theory that supports the use of the arts as tools for learning. In our first week, we’ll consider the environment and materials, and organize intentions for exploring new ideas in our varied communities.

During the second week, you’ll have the group’s support as you try things out and reflect, meeting together to explore materials, share what we’re learning, and unpack where we’re struggling.

In our third session, we’ll dive deeply into the relationship between the arts and writing and use documentation to support ongoing assessment and decision making.

In week four, we’ll discuss, reflect, and untangle knots that feel stuck.
Susan Harris MacKay is the co-founder/director of the Center for Playful Inquiry, offering mentorship, consulting, and coaching in emergent design for a more courageous, creative, and compassionate future. As the co-host of Story Workshop Studio, an international community of educators, she facilitates experiences that support beauty and justice in the classroom. She is the author of Story Workshop: New Possibilities for Young Writers (Heinemann, 2021).
Matt Karlsen dedicates his efforts to helping educational professionals reimagine how they might partner with children and colleagues to construct more just and beautiful worlds. For three decades, he has worked as a classroom teacher and provider of professional development - including a transformative period at Opal School. Now, he leads the Center for Playful Inquiry with his friend and colleague Susan Harris MacKay, offering courses, presentations, partnerships, and the Story Workshop Studio community of mutual mentorship.

18th, 25th October, 1st & 8th November 2023
Each Session is for 2 Hours.

18th & 25th October 2023
San Francisco 9:00 am | London 5:00 pm | Zurich 6:00 pm | Dubai 8:00 pm | India 9:30 pm

1st November 2023
San Francisco 10:00 am | London 5:00 pm | Zurich 6:00 pm | Dubai 9:00 pm | India 10:30 pm

8th November 2023
San Francisco 9:00 am | London 5:00 pm | Zurich 6:00 pm | Dubai 9:00 pm | India 10:30 pm

Please click here to check your time for the workshop
USD 400 Per Participant
USD 375 Per Participant for a Group of 8
INCLUDES: Certificate of Participation for 10 Professional Development hours.