"Teaching and Telling Nature's Story:
Storytelling in Environmental Education"
Nature in Legend and Story's Third Biannual Conference
August 5 and 6, 2005
What's the best way to teach children and adults about the natural world we live in and our shared responsibility to care for it? For thousands of years, peoples around the world saw storytelling as the best way to capture the listener's imagination and to inspire empathy and compassion for the creatures and places described in their stories. Stories still serve as a crucial way for sharing our knowledge of and concern for nature, whether we tell these stories through an oral tradition, an ecology textbook, a novel, a poem, a series of photographs, or a film.
For our third biannual conference, Nature in Legend and Story (NILAS) is seeking panels, papers, or workshops that discuss the role of storytelling in environmental education. We are interested in education at all levels, for children and adults, and in a variety of settings, including classrooms, museums, parks, libraries, living rooms, and more. And we are interested in proposals that cover a wide range of types of storytelling--oral, written, and visual. Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:
how to use storytelling to help children develop a sense of caring for the natural world
storytelling tips for interpretive naturalists
pros and cons of anthropomorphism in storytelling
performances of storytelling or poetry
how to use storytelling to secure support for pro-environmental public policies
the role of masks and puppets in environmental education and/or street theater
nature and the novel
storytelling and nature writing
the environment in film
storytelling in nature spirituality, such as the Council of All Beings
The keyote speaker will be Jessica Speart, author of the Rachel Porter wildlife mystery thrillers, most recently Blue Twilight, A Killing Season, and Coastal Disturbances. Speart will also be offering an optional writing workshop for attendees. Storytellers and teachers Gene and Celeste Gryniewicz will be offering a workshop on using stories and craft activities to teach children about nature. There will also be an optional guided nature hike and slide show at Lincoln Memorial Garden and an open mike night for storytelling and readings.
Please send panel, paper, or performance proposals or queries to Marion W. Copeland (contact information provided below).
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 31, 2005
For more information about Nature in Legend and Story, visit
the following website.
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