Professional Development

Story Preservation offers professional development workshops and seminars, online graduate credit courses, and on-site teacher training, all tailored to meet the needs of subscribers.

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Story Preservation Initiative and New England College Partnership

Story Preservation and New England College, Henniker, NH have partnered to offer online courses and practicums that emphasize best use of the SPI Learning Lab.  All courses / practicums are available for graduate credit at a more than two-third reduction of per credit cost to Learning Lab subscribers.  Current course offerings are listed below.

  • To find out more or to register to take one or more of these courses as a non-matriculating student click here.
  • To matriculate as a student and take one of these courses click here



Course Offerings

ED 6146 Story Preservation Initiative (SPI) Learning Lab Practicum I (1 credit)
SPI Learning Lab Practicum I offers students the opportunity to work directly with SPI staff to develop a unit of study that integrates personal narrative into their classroom. In this course, students will become familiar with the Story Preservation Initiative Learning Lab and choose a personal narrative from the site that will act as a springboard to learning for a unit of study that is project-based. Students will determine a topic and develop a unit plan outline that includes grade level competencies, related materials, and assessment evidence that will support the project. Students meet with an SPI staff member three times within the seven-week period via email, telephone or, as possible, face to face to discuss ongoing progress with the project as well as student and teacher engagement.  Offered SPRING II TERM, BEGINNING March 19, 2018


ED 6147 Story Preservation Initiative (SPI) Learning Lab Practicum II (1 credit)
SPI Learning Lab Practicum II is designed for teachers with Learning Lab projects currently underway. In this course, students will teach the SPI unit/lessons of study developed in Practicum I and assess student learning. Students meet with SPI staff three times within the seven-week period to further discuss project development and progress, student and teacher engagement, as well as assessment tools, and documentation. At the end of the seven-week period, students are required to produce an integrated Understanding by Design lesson plan.  SPI staff will be available as a resource to teachers throughout the project period. Prerequisite: 6146.  Offered SPRING II TERM, BEGINNING March 19, 2018 



Using Primary Sources as the Base for Developing Meaningful, Real-World Relevant Curriculum (3 credits)

Original, primary source audio recordings of notables in the arts, sciences, and humanities, as found in the Story Preservation Initiative Learning Lab (SPI/LL), provide the foundation from which participants will develop curriculum that is real-world based. Primary sources are the raw materials of history as well as serving as roadmaps to scientific discovery and windows to the mind of artists.  By integrating authentic stories and related curriculum into the classroom, students understand that their learning has meaning and purpose. This opens the door to increased student engagement and motivation, as well as independent investigation. Participants will choose one or two SPI/LL stories that support their learning objectives, design a question for study, and develop a standards-aligned lesson plan that, through oral presentation, will be shared with other members of the class. Offered June 25 and 26, 2018


ED 6140 Fundamentals of Storytelling for Educators (3 credits)
Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination. In this course, students will learn how to construct and tell a well-developed story that holds interest and is effectively communicated to its listeners. Students will begin by exploring narrative stories to examine the basic elements of theme, plot, style, characterization, dramatic appeal, and appropriateness to listeners. Once a story line is well mapped out and adapted to a particular audience, the focus will shift to preparation for telling. Basic storytelling skills will be explored to make it your own, including dialogue, voice, gestures, facial expression, pacing, repetition, and exaggeration.


ED 6144 Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Teaching and Learning Tool for the 21st Century Classroom (3 credits)
Digital storytelling is a powerful tool for providing students with the technology skills they need to thrive in 21st century media-rich environments. This fun, creative class explores digital storytelling as a new form of documentary that allows computer users to become creative storytellers through the use of digital multimedia. Teacher-created digital stories can be used to enhance current lessons within a unit and engage students in discussions about the topics presented. They can also support learning by making abstract or conceptual content more understandable. Emphasis is on the use of digital technology to explore various ways one can tell a story, and how to effectively leverage story to engage, inform and educate the learner. After selecting and researching a topic, students will write a script, and develop an interesting story. This material will then be combined with various types of multimedia, including computer-based graphics, recorded audio, computer-generated text, video clips, and music. The author then narrates in their own voice over the series of images. This class provides basic knowledge of the range of capabilities of available multimedia including audio and video design applications for creating instructional products.


ED 6142 Bringing History to Life Through Story Preservation Initiative
Students will be introduced to a variety of first-hand narratives and primary source documents for K-12 classrooms using the online educational resource Story Preservation Initiative (SPI) Participants will learn how to search SPI’s vast collection and study teacher created lesson plans connected to these personal accounts. In addition, students will be introduced to other classroom materials using these resources to further enrich their classroom instruction in all content areas including literature, history, STEM, art, music, and theatre. Participants will then apply their knowledge by integrating SPI narratives and resources to create lessons and activities for a differentiated, inquiry-based unit that can be used in their own classroom. Meets MED and CAGS concentration requirement: Storytelling, STEM, Literacy, and Curriculum and Instruction. (3 credits)

ED 6145 The Interactive Art of Storytelling Across the Curriculum (3 credits)
Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination. Teachers who storytelling into their repertoire of teaching skills can enhance student engagement with almost any subject. This course offers students practical instruction in the traditional art of storytelling as it relates to numerous interdisciplinary fields. The class will examine how this ancient art form can be used to enliven classroom learning, encourage personal expression, improve public communication skills, build communities, and strengthen multicultural understanding and emotive awareness across the curriculum. Students will learn how to enhance lessons using storytelling across the curriculum and come to appreciate storytelling as a tool to improve language, vocabulary and, listening skills, as well as increase student interest in literature and independent reading.