Family Stories March 2010
“Family stories were also folktales that created and sustained a collective myth, a structure of meaning reaching beyond the earthly realms of time and place to express something essential about the invisible life of the soul, a highly individualized folktale where Zeus becomes Grandpa Handley and Cinderella Aunt Mabel.” • Joe McHugh
“Like the DNA signature in each drop of a person’s blood, family stories are unique to the families who tell them. But blood is also universal. It can be given to those who share the same blood type to revive and sustain life. Likewise, family stories are universal in that they touch on those basic themes shared by all families.” • Joe McHugh
Why Family Stories? • http://americanfamilystories.org/why_familystoriesfolder/why_stories_cable/c_phillips_essay.html • http://americanfamilystories.org/why_familystoriesfolder/why_stories_cable/c_seeger_essay.html `
Process • Inform parents at conference about the project • Introduce project to class • Model Draft • Students/family draft • Model Revision • Family revision (lunch revision) • Individual editing • Model publishable copy • Publishable copy with illustrations
Choose a Story • Not too big • Not too small • Something you have heard people talk about often • Could have been a long time ago • Could have been very recently • Needs to involve the family
Narrow down the topic Family vacations Trip to Iowa in 1976 Car keys in the restroom Easter Bunny Cakes shaped like bunnies and crosses Sleeping on the floor of the dining room
Organize the Details Who: What: When: Where: Why: How: Mom, brother (Jim), me Mom lost the keys Late at night, March, 1976 Rest area in Iowa The rest area was dark, it was an accident It was late, she had to go, she had locked the kids in the car, scared of the dark rest area.