Thomas Doty – Storyteller
"We came back to class and my kids were soooo excited about your stories. They loved them and the way you told them. I was able to then make a connection with their stories they are writing. These kinds of experiences are so good for our kids, and I just wanted to make sure you knew how much we appreciated you."
5th Grade Teacher, Three Rivers School, Sunriver, OR
Stories in Education
Since 1981, master Native American storyteller Thomas Doty has visited thousands of schools throughout the country. Doty has a variety of performances available for grades K-12.
Education is naturally built into native stories, the core of Doty's art. Storytelling is the way Native Americans have been learning about themselves for centuries. Their history and folklore, their beliefs, even practical things like how to build a house, and where the best huckleberries are in the mountains. Everything is passed along through the stories.
Thomas Doty's storytelling performances are innovative and vibrant. They dramatize native wisdoms and teachings in ways that profoundly connect students to themselves, as well as to cultural traditions.
"Mr. Doty's presentation was very powerful. He taught us a side of history which is generally not taught."
"Mr. Doty is a storyteller, but he makes the story stay with you for the rest of your life."
"He actually reached into his story, he was so passionate. For some reason it didn't feel like he was telling a story, it felt like he was the story."
8th Grade Students, Cascade Middle School, Eugene, OR
In his performances, Thomas Doty can include specific traditional and original native stories to compliment what you're teaching in the classroom, across content areas. For example, stories of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony for a class engaged in a Salmon Watch Unit. Or stories of Indian and European contact for Social Studies classes. Or stories that emphasize cultural traditions for classes studying local and regional native people. There are many possibilities.
To maintain the intimacy that is at the heart of Native American storytelling, Thomas Doty's school performances are small group presentations, not school-wide assemblies. Here are the numbers....
For staging requirements, visit the Scheduling & Staging page.
"The classes sat completely enraptured and were absolutely mesmerized by your storytelling. The program was more than what we had expected it to be. We hope to see you again."
3rd Grade Teaching Team, Maple Grove Primary School, Battle Ground, WA
For 36 years, Thomas Doty taught workshops and master classes, and conducted residencies throughout the West. These days, Doty embraces a traditional style of native teaching by including specific stories in his performances that enhance what teachers are teaching in the classroom. Doty is happy to offer suggestions for follow-up activities, and this website has a number of free cultural resources.
"Today our class met a storyteller. Clearly it was awesome."
"First, he made funny faces in the stories. Next, he made funny voices in the stories. Last, he told three stories. All and all, he was the best storyteller ever!"
"He had a good character voice. The stories were amazing and we are going to do it all week. I can't wait to hear more stories."
1st Grade Students, Crestview Heights School, Waldport, OR