Program Information

Number of Artists: 1

Grade Levels: 4-5, 6-8, Family, K-2, K-5

Program Length: 40-90 minutes

Ideal Audience Size: Flexible

Maximum Audience Size: 250

Setup Time: 30 minutes

Breakdown Time: 10 minutes

Technical Requirements: 20' x 20' stage or open area, 3 armless chairs, chalkboard or whiteboard, electrical outlet, public address sound system

SOL Connections

History and Social Science: 1.12, 2.12, 3.12

English: K.1, K.2, K.3, K.8, 1.2, 1.11, 2.1, 2.2, 2.8, 2.9, 3.1, 3.6, 3.7, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7, 5.1, 5.6, 5.7, 6.2, 6.5, 6.7, 7.8, 8.3, 8.5, 9.3, 9.6, 10.3, 11.3, 12.3

Artists Fees

Single Fee: $325 -$525 + travel


.45 per mile from Baltimore, MD

Fee Notes

Jon is a Tour Artist now and is available for residencies of 2 or more days only.

Jon Spelman

Master Storyteller



Program Type

Elementary School Assemblies, Family Concerts, High School Assemblies, Middle School Assemblies, Storytelling, Workshops

Subject Areas

Creative Writing, Culture Studies, Life Science, Literature, Social Skills Development

Jon Spelman, master storyteller, keeps alive the tradition of telling, preserving, collecting, and creating stories from around the world. As storyteller, writer, and teacher, Jon combines personal anecdotes with classic folktales to increase students' awareness of stories and narrative as forms of self-expression and to familiarize them with other cultures and folkways. In addition to the school programs listed below, storytelling workshops and author visits are available.

Author Visits (K-12) Discusses the writing process: getting ideas, writing drafts, editing, and deciding when a final draft is complete as well as ways to spark the creative writer's imagination.

Character Education Through Stories (K-12) Stories collected from world folk tales and from the tales and anecdotes of contemporary young people; each story is designed to stimulate the moral imagination and to promote discussion of social and civic virtues and personal responsibility. Themes include: human dignity; the common good; personal happiness; fairness; empathy; the rights and responsibilities of each member of society Simple, straightforward tales, adapted to grade level, to help young people deal with the complex process of character development though the narrative process: instruction though illustration, example, and imaginative participation. Questions raised, in the stories and in post-story discussion, include the classical ethical test of Reversibility: Does It Work Both Ways? (i.e., would you want to be treated this way?) and Could It Apply To Both Ways? (Would you want everyone to act this way in a similar situation?).

Frankenstein (9-12) Mary Shelley's original classic Gothic novel, told from the Creature's point of view.

Grimm & Grits (K-12) Southern rural versions of the Brothers Grimm as in "The Sleepy Beauty in the Giant Briar Patch," "Little Cherry Red Cap," and "Your Name is Rumple-What?"

Mostly Monsters: Myths & Legends (4-12) Specially adapted versions of ancient tales and more recent stories from the oral tradition. Can include special adaptations of "Beowulf."

Some Good Old Tales (4-12) Special versions of stories from many cultures. Program may include such favorites as "King Midas," "Hansel & Gretel," "Raven Lights the World," and "Brer Panther Eats it All."

Three Stories Tall (K-5) Stories warm and funny gathered from the richness of American rural telling, urban folklore, and folktale.