Jan C. Smith is a storyteller who is known for her humor and flair. She holds a BFA from Utah State University and is a former high school drama teacher. In recent years, she has used her storytelling expertise to inspire struggling readers in her role as an elementary literacy specialist. She has presented workshops for RootsTech, Timpanogos Storytelling Conference, Weber State Storytelling Festival and the Utah International Reading Association. She has been a featured performer at schools and festivals throughout the state, most recently presenting a showcase performance at the Timpanogos Conference 2015.
Learn more about Jan at her website found at www.jantellstales.com.
Jan’s Residency Philosophy & Approach
I have taught at Copperview Elementary in Midvale during summer school and as an Arts Specialist during the school year. For the past 3 years I have been at Grant Elementary School in Murray, both in after school and in classroom.
My first goal with students is to get them excited about stories. I share and model stories, I story map or story map. I have them play storytelling games – erase the face, freeze frame, tableaus and touring the story. I love to take students to the auditorium and walk to the beginning, middle, and end of the story. We also play Virginia reel and learn to use a microphone. My style is enthusiastic and engaging.
Jan’s Special Training
I am a former high school drama teacher and have directed plays and coached debate. During college I was a member of the Old Lyric Repertory Company and performed in many plays and musicals. I took a storytelling class at BYU from Nancy Alder to renew my teaching certificate and I was hooked on storytelling. I have taken many workshops since that time from Elizabeth Ellis, Doug Lipman, Syd Lieberman and Donald Davis. I have attended two National conferences and leaned from David Novak and Gay Ducey. I am a member of the Olympus Storytelling Guild and the Utah Storytelling Guild.
Residencies Jan Has Done
Copperview Elementary School – Summer School 2009
20 – one hour sessions for students 2-6th grade
Fairy tales told, storytelling games played and fractured fairy tales written and performed.
Copperview Elementary School Arts in the Classroom 2009-10
Students 1st through 6th grade – weekly sessions using storytelling skills and structure to inform writing. Used freeze frame, tableaus, charades and delivery skills.
Grant Elementary School – Murray Utah
2012-13 8 one hour after school sessions for 2-6th graders
followed with coaching and performing.
2013-14 Same format
2014-15 classrooms sessions 30 minute sessions for 3-5 graders
to equal 6 hours per group.
I model stories, story map, help students select and create their own story and story map. Played Virgina Reel and Tour the story in the auditorium. I try very hard to teach students to be confident in their skills and appreciate the efforts of others .