Fiona is a member of Poetry Ireland’s Writers in School Scheme:
Her programs for schools include storytelling performances as well as storytelling workshops.
Schools can choose a general storytelling session tailored for a particular age group or they can ask for a session on a particular theme (with some notice).
In her storytelling sessions, alongside telling folktales from all around the World, Fiona often uses Kamishibai (Japanese paper theatre), drawing and paper-folding stories, riddles, interactive songs with call and response, as well as stories accompanied by mbira music (thumb piano from Zimbabwe).
For younger adults: Under African Skies – Stories of growing up, journeys, and initiation
(12 to 17 year olds)
A selection of traditional African stories from Morocco to Zimbabwe, combining wisdom, humour and mystery. These stories are about the choices we make and the dilemmas we face as young adults and at all ages of life, and about overcoming obstacles through respect of elders and wisdom. (Accompanied by live mbira music)
For the little ones: Story Hugs for Story Bugs
(3 to 6 years old)
Come and hear stories about tiny creatures and insects with wings and without: Simon the Snail, Philzer the Fly, Tim the Tiniest Man on Earth and all their friends are here to entertain you. (Stories told with puppets, paper folding and Kamishibai)
For Special Needs Groups:
The content of the session would very much depend on the group. I would typically tell my favourite stories from all the programmes above. I would bring my whole story tool kit with me and be ready to make the session more visual, interactive, humorous, or musical to suit the interest and ability of the group.
For All: Kamishibai Workshop
Kamishibai is the Japanese art of paper theatre, a way of telling stories using images and voice. In this hands-on workshop, participants will get to design their own Kamishibai slide. Depending on the group, we will either devise a brand new story or work with a well known folktale. Using the slides made in the course of the workshop, each participant will get the experience of performing a portion of the final story.
For enquiring minds: Wisdom Fair
Before the session, audience members submit burning questions and life dilemmas anonymously by writing them down an placing them in a question box. During the session, the storyteller responds to those questions with folktales from her repertoire. (This event is even nicer with two or more storytellers)
For older children: Stories of Music and Mischief
(7 to 11 year olds)
From call and response work-songs to rhythmical participation stories, silly voices, singing contests stories and tales where the heroes use music to their advantage.