Thomas Doty – Storyteller
"Having watched you perform in schools, I can attest to the value of your work with students. You excite and amaze and make learning a fascinating adventure. I've spent my career in education, have started and directed 3 schools, have a Ph.D. in education administration. I think your work is profoundly enriching and recommend you to all schools."
Dr. Bea Davis, Educator, Portland, OR
Since 1981, Thomas Doty has visited thousands of schools throughout the country. Doty has a variety of performances available for grades K-12. For native people, stories have been a teaching-tool-of-choice for thousands of years.
Education is naturally built into native stories, the core of Doty's art. Storytelling is the way native people have been learning about themselves for centuries. Storytelling is indeed Stories in Education.
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.
Thomas Doty's performances dramatize native wisdoms and teachings in ways that profoundly connect students to themselves and each other, as well as to cultural traditions.
Thomas Doty has hands-on workshops available for all grade levels. Topics include Native Storytelling (Basic & Advanced Skills), Reading the Rock Writings, We Are All Story People, and Making a Mythology. He also conducts staff in-services, guiding teachers to accurate resources on native people, and providing ideas for follow-up activities to his programs.
Workshops can be done on their own in single sessions, or combined with performances and other workshops to create a residency that lasts from a few days to several weeks.
Doty in the Classroom
Here's Thomas Doty telling and teaching native stories at Bogus Elementary School in northern California. This is the entire K-8 student body -- 19 students.
Upriver to Morning
Tish McFadden and Thomas Doty are available to do school programs that include traditional stories, as well as selections from Tish's new native story based on the teaching of Takelma elder Agnes Baker Pilgrim. Here's info about the project: Upriver to Morning.
What Students & Educators Say
"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
"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
"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
"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
Thomas Doty's stories align with educational standards, and are relevant across content areas. Here is an outline of CCSS in "teacher speak," with links to specific passages in Doty's writing that support key concepts.