Assemblies for Students

Students will hear traditional folk tales and fairy tales from cultures throughout the world as well as humorous stories about growing up on a farm in Northern Illinois. Stories include participation in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).

Writing workshops for Students

Students will learn how plot, character, setting and elements of ancient folk tales, myths, and legends can become the building blocks for their own original, and sometimes autobiographical stories.

In-service training/workshops for Teachers

Research shows that children who hear and tell stories develop increased imaginative capacity, creative flexibility, and language mastery. This is true across the curriculum. Participants will learn to employ storytelling in an educational setting and will learn at least one story to tell in a classroom, family or administrative setting.

Keynote presentation

Storytelling: The Thinking Teacher’s RX For The Technology Blues or How I Got My Students To Listen To Me And Learned To Love My Job Again.

Non-Profit Organizations are eligible for partial sponsorship through Illinois Arts Tour

“Jim May brought his storytelling wizardry to the 2017 Promising Youth Conference (2017 in Snowbird, Utah) and taught us the power of simple stories to unpack complex human problems in an atmosphere of humor and joy. We traveled our crooked pathways, embracing both the “fire” of our burning desires and “water” of our tearful defeats. At the end of each session, we hoped for another session quickly to begin so we could live again under the spell of Jim’s stories, poems, wise sayings, jokes and life-reframing, soul-renewing questions – questions that magically opened answers hidden just below the surface of the everyday in our memories and imaginings. Bravo! Jim is a master teller and healer!”

Things Students Have Said About Jim and his Young Author’s Residency:

Things the Stories Taught the Students

  • Legends teach great lessons fast.
  • Being Angry can hurt others (Elephant Story).
  • Stories can change your mood.
  • The mentor is the person who helps the other person.
  • Every story teaches us a lesson in some kind of way.
  • I learned that a heroine is a girl hero.


Regarding Storytelling:

  • One thing I learned is that stories are awesome to tell.
  • I learned how to make your own great story.
  • I learned that telling stories will help you become a great speaker.
  • I learned that stories always teach you something.
  • I learned that the main character always has something in their way that they have to work out.
  • I learned it’s better to have a story told to you instead of watching TV.
  • I learned that fables, fairytales, and folktales can have very good obstacles and that a hero is tested by trials like this: courage, compassion, and wisdom.
  • I learned that stories can help you become a better reader.
  • He taught us that stories have a lot of parts and that it is easy to write a story.
  • He taught us that a writer always re-writes.
  • I learned how to write a book and what type of middle to put in and how to end a story.
  • I learned that you need to make a story juicy to bring it to life.
  • I learned that stories are really fun not boring and that it is not hard to make a book.
  • I learned that writers use charts when writing a story. One of my favorite things was the writer’s chart.
  • I learned that a story should always have a problem and a solution to the problem.
  • I learned how to identify the main character, how to write, and tell a story.


Favorite Things About Jim May:

  • My Favorite thing was imagining the pictures as he told the story.
  • Jim May had great descriptions and expressions in the stories. I felt like I was where he was talking about.
  • Thank you for showing us those awesome stories.
  • He taught us everything you need to know to make a story.
  • My favorite thing was making a story and learning how to pass on stories.
  • He made my mind grow by telling me stories.
  • He is a fun storyteller.
  • One of my favorite things about Jim May’s visit was how enthusiastic he was.
  • I liked how he phrased things in the story.
  • Jim May made me imagine the scenes and get pulled into the story.
  • My favorite  thing about Jim May was he taught us that a drum sounds like your heart.
  • My favorite thing about Jim May is he Loves telling stories.
  • My  favorite thing was that he put a lot of emotion in when he tells a story.
  • I Love how his stories make sense and solve a problem.


About Jim’s Visit To Their School:

  • I really Loved all of the stories he told and one day I hope that he will be able to come and visit us again.
  • My favorite thing about Jim May was when he scared us. My other favorite part was when he made me laugh.
  • I liked when he came a lot because he tells very good stories and he puts a good picture in your head.
  • He is a kind guy and he Loves to tell stories to kids.
  • I liked that Jim May had a lot of expression when he told us stories.
  • It was awesome to have him here and I appreciate that he came to tell us more stories at our classroom. I like how he told stories and I hope he comes again.
  • I really like that he came, because I didn’t know a lot about the stories he told me so I was very entertained.
  • Jim May is funny, cool, and he likes writing books.
  • I liked that his stories were told from places all around the world.
  • I liked how he gave a different voice to each of his characters.
  • He was good at telling stories I wish he would’ve stayed longer.
  • Jim May is funny, he has a good imagination, and a good personality. He was a storyteller since he was 5 and has told stories in many schools and published books.
  • Jim May’s visit was cool. I Loved how he told his stories. Jim May was the kind of man I would like to meet.


Questions from the students for Jim:

  • How many books have you published?
  • When I’m finished writing my book can you have your publisher publish my book?
  • Did you want to become a storyteller or did you have to? (Psychology of the storyteller 101)