Storytelling Videos for Children and Families

Welcome to Storytelling for the Young and Young at Heart (recommended for grades K-5)
These full length programs (approx. 45 minutes) were conceptualized, written, and hosted by Judith Black for the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunication’s “Mass LearnPike,” a satellite-based network commissioned to “explore the use of distance-learning in K-12 schools.” The shows originally aired between 1994 and 1998 as semi-interactive video programming, consisting of a one-way video broadcast accompanied by a two-way audio channel. In this way, the students watching the programs from elementary school classrooms all over Massachusetts were able to simultaneously participate in them. Please, invite your children/students to join them. 

Throughout the shows, students are often asked to send in original stories pictures, and riddles based on the tales they have heard. You are welcomed to translate these assignments to your home or classroom, and use the accompanying curriculum guides. The guides suggest ways to use the stories to build cognitive skills a address social/emotional issues and pursue curricular objectives. 

The first four recordings contain folklore and contemporary stories reflecting the theme Kids Who Save the Day. The first program in the series is a compilation of stories about children who save themselves from dire situations through combinations of wit, heart, and elbow grease. In the second program, an extension of the first, children become heroes by saving their families from desperate or hopeless situations; in the third, they save the world. The fourth show follows the Trickster, a character omnipresent in world folklore, and a favorite of children and underdogs all over this planet. Each program in the Kids Who Save the Day and Tricksters collection is accompanied by a curriculum guide, available in the ‘Stories in Education‘ section of this website. A fifth and sixth recording, Wake Up Sun, offers a compilation of science and mythology surrounding the winter solstice. 

Judith teaches two classes annually in her home: 
Making Stories from Life 
She is available for performances, residencies, faculty in-service workshops, and as a key note speaker 
and presenter for conferences. 
She would love to know if these programs and guides were useful to you.
Please write to her at 

Program 1 Kids Who Save the Day-Themselves

  • Stories about children with resilience.
  • Hansel and Gretel (European Folklore)
  • Kennywood (Personal story about getting lost at an amusement park)
  • Baba Yaga and Sasha the Youth (Russian Folklore)
  • Curriculum Guide

Program 2 Kids Who Save the Day-Family

  • Stories about children who save their families
  • Elena and the Black Geese (Russian Folk Tale)
  • The Fly (Vietnamese Folk tale)
  • Curriculum Guide

Program 3 Kids Who Save the Day-World

  • Stories about children who save their world
  • Gluskabe and the Wind Eagle (Abenaki, Native American)
  • Zordack, the Hero of Marblehead (Original story, J. Black)
  • Curriculum Guide

Program 4 Pinching the Giants: Tricksters of the World

  • Zordack, the Hero of Marblehead (Original story, J. Black)
  • Molly Whoopie (Scottish Folklore)
  • Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby (African American Folklore)
  • Curriculum Guide

Program 5 Wake Up Sun Part 1

  • This show includes science and lore that that seeks to explain the winter solstice. It includes:
  • A rendition of St. George and the Dragon from the British Isles
  • Dr. Knowitall explaining the science of the solstice
  • A Yorkshire farmer explaining how he keeps the earth from going black
  • A Roman slave, queen of her home on Saturnalia
  • The beginning of The Legend of Unicorn Mountain (original J. Black)

Program 6 Wake Up Sun Part 2

  • World Celebrations of the Winter Solstice
  • A Saturnalia Celebration by the students of Waltham High School
  • St. Lucia Day with Mimmu Harttala-Sloan, family, and friends
  • Exploration of other celebrations-Completion of The Legend of Unicorn Mountain

Come and See a Performance