Hi, I’m Annie Banannie …
When you’re a kid, having the courage to write a story and share it with others is a huge thing!
I travel to elementary schools and show students how fun it is to write a story, and then I give them a reason to share it: How about a contest with awesome prizes? After we’re done with the assembly, the teachers use my contest and the classroom materials to make writing assignments feel like a game.
Why am I so passionate about this? I was THAT KID – the kid who couldn’t control my impulses: always getting in trouble, talking in class, etc.
I was BORED. (A little ADD didn’t help things either.) I only wanted to learn what I was interested in, not the class assignments. So, I got to know the principal a little too well.
Then I found music and theater. This was it! Here were the stories I loved, and now I got to tell them – loudly! Life was good, but only outside of school.
Later, I discovered making up stories with kids is even more fun than musical theater. The sillier the story, the more fun we have, and the more we learn together. You see, kids don’t hate to learn. They just want to learn stuff they’re interested in, not what the California State Standards say it’s time for them to learn.
So, our challenge: Can we make the educational standards exciting? You betcha.
I turn California Language Arts Standards into a 60-minute creative extravaganza where students can’t wait to share what they know. Check out the Balloon Story Writing Adventure Page for more specifics on how I do this.
I’m also the founder of StorytellerKids.com, which will be a safe online community where kids can share stories they write and earn prizes while they’re at it!
My experiences as a kid in music and theater, and later as a storyteller, have shown me that if kids get passionate about something, there’s no stopping them. Now let’s bring that passion into the classroom and watch what happens.