I would like to share with you and offer a presentation dealing with bullying, beauty in diversity, effective communication, and Native American customs.
I recently published a children’s picture book titled “The Talking Stick”. It’s based on a true story of a Native American boy who was in my 2nd grade class. Nathan stood out from his average peer. He had a distinct look about him, and right away I noticed he had a very big heart. But as often happens, he had some experiences with being bullied. I had several conversations with Nathan and his mom, and as it so happened, Native American customs were part of the curriculum that year.
Teachers understand the struggle with class meetings, where there is much talking over each other, clamoring to speak, not listening well, etc. So, I decided to try out the use of a Native American custom, the talking stick, to facilitate more effective communication skills. I made my own talking stick out of items found in nature. The children loved it and understood the meaning shown to them of taking turns, listening and speaking. I was pleasantly surprised that I saw an unexpected value in the sense of self-esteem each child exhibited when holding the stick.
My vision as an educator, is to share tools and skills with kids of all ages in finding and believing in their own intrinsic value, and to improve the quality of being and interacting in our society and world.
I’ve been a teacher/educator for 37 years in many capacities, from preschool to university, special education, arts, and private tutoring. I’ve been practicing and honing effective communication skills in my profession as well as my own family of four children and grandchildren. It is my joyful passion!
I would love the opportunity to share my presentation which includes a book reading, sharing of cultural diversity, and discussion on bullying, utilizing the practice of the Talking Stick. I also offer an added activity of participants making their own talking stick with materials that I provide.
If you would be interested in this unique presentation of valuable lessons and skills in a fun, welcoming atmosphere, please contact me! I look forward to sharing time with you!
Author reading of “The Talking Stick”
Meet Nathan, the main character in the book
Interactive activity or object lesson on effective communication skills Information and history of the Native American talking stick
Demonstration and or crafting of a talking stick (options for participants to make their own talking stick – materials supplied)
Circle discussion about bullying using the talking stick
Performance of native american jingle dance by Misty Nace (Nathan’s mother)
Cost varies depending on audience, venue and presentation type – please contact Julie for more information