What is StoryMaking?

StoryMaking allows the child to use their creativity and materials to make (the maker), orally express a story (the storyteller), explore shapes and techniques to illustrate (the artist), and investigate how marks and letter formations can be made on paper (the writer)

“Humans do two things that make us unique from all other animals; we use tools and we tell stories. And when you make something, you’re doing both at once.” Adam Savage

Our Story

Michelle and Robin worked in a public school district that has over 48,000 students enrolled, PreK – 12th grade when StoryMaking was born. They were honored to work with the district’s Early Learning Team and the prekindergarten teachers and children. They had been investigating possibilities embedded in the Makers’ Movement, a trend where students use materials to make whatever their minds imagined.

MICHELLE KAY COMPTON, MA
MICHELLE KAY COMPTON, MA
I have been in the educational field for 19 years and specialize in inquiry practices throughout the content areas with early learners up to children in the middle school years. I hold a Master’s Degree in Varying Exceptionalities from the University of South Florida and am endorsed in Gifted, Reading and ESOL. These specialties allow me to design learning environments and curriculum for a wide variety of students’ needs. Throughout my career, I have experience in coaching, designing curriculum aligned to standards collaboratively with teachers and providing training to teachers within the district, state and national level related to reading and writing instruction, inquiry practices, and content area literacy. I have been blessed with diverse opportunities in the field of education to be a special education teacher, literacy coach, International Baccalaureate Coordinator of a Primary Years Programme school, and an Early Learning District Specialist . Currently, I am an independent consultant that continues to study the benefits of StoryMaking in a variety of formal and informal learning environments. Each day, I have the privilege of working and learning with museum directors, library specialists, parents, preschool teachers and their children to document their imaginations and the stories they make with open-ended materials. Robin and I continue to innovate, research the field, design and tinker with new makerspaces and share our journey with our online StoryMaking community to support all educators implementing STEAM, Maker’s Movement practices and our own StoryMaking mission.
ROBIN CHAPPELE THOMPSON, PhD
ROBIN CHAPPELE THOMPSON, PhD
My work in education spans 25 years. My Master’s degree in Elementary Education, ESOL endorsement, certification in K-12 Reading, and certification in Preschool Education provide me with a strong knowledge base in the teaching and learning processes. At the school level, I have been a teacher, literacy coach, and curriculum coordinator. After earning my Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Childhood Reading and Language Arts, I worked as an instructor at the University of South Florida where I supervised interns, taught literacy, assessment, and writing courses in the College of Education. Currently I serve as the Director of Early Learning in the School District of Manatee County, where curriculum design and implementation for PreK – 2 has been a focus area for my work. The best part of my job is that I get to play with four-year-olds and work with teachers every day! My areas of special interest include the role of play in early learning, multimodal literacies in young children’s lives, and learning through making. Since implementing StoryMaking in some of our preschool classrooms, our local museum and our library, I have studied formal and informal learning environments, researched learning spaces, and worked with Michelle to develop learning continuums associated with open-ended materials used in the makers’ movement, and specifically StoryMaking.