STEM plus Arts = Learning Full STEAM ahead!

by Story Tapestries Inc.
Writing Assignments
Writing Assignments


Thank you for your continued support

FullSizeRenderAs promised here is another young author's writing sample. This is again from our recent visit to Jessup Elementary School. This time though the student is from Mrs. Siple’s Kindergarten class. It is a "take" on a Greek Myth style, the subject being: 

What causes big storms?

Below is the students outline for the story, enjoy!!

  1. Zeus: 110 years old, mean, grumpy, holds lightening bolt
  2. Hermes: 4 years old, sneaky, excited, holds a harp
  3. Athena: 19 years old, brave, miserable, holds a shield
Setting: The story takes place in outer space on the planet Mars. However, this Mars also has green trees and a deep blue lake.  This planet had a lot of rain and storms that came from the sky.  The rain looked like golden slime. It had dark blue clouds always hanging over it.
Problem: Suddenly, Zeus’ lightening bolt and cloud was not working.  He had to leave his cloud behind.  His cloud was constantly causing thunderstorms when it was not supposed to. One day, his cloud even started to pour on Athena while she was starting a war.  Instantly, the war ended and she was furious.  Athena was angry that she had been rained upon. It even messed up her luxuriously beautiful hair.  She was left standing by herself in the middle of the field.  She sent Hermes to Zeus.  He responded with IT’s NOT MY FAULT. Hermes brought a message from Zeus to Athena…HE REFUSED to apologize.  She marched over to where Zeus was reading a book. Hermes felt like he was in between two grumpy adults.  He looked at both of them not knowing what to do.  Athena chucked her sticky gooey lunch at Zeus. She laughed and shouted “HA HA HA, that’s what you get.”  It hit Zeus in the middle of his forehead. Liquid oozed into his surprised eyes.

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We simply can not get enough time with these young hearts. We love the time we get to have with them and truly enjoy the follow up stories and testimonials we get afterwards.







Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 

Thank you for your continued support!!



One of our partnering artist, Carrie Sue Ayvar, had a wonderful experience with another partnering group we love, The Learning Alliance. Here is her story of their time:


 “My hands say thank you with a clap, clap, clap. My feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap.” It was an amazing, filled with magical, light-bulb-going-on moments, week in Vero Beach. We started off the week with a 3 hour workshop for Early Childhood Teachers, Once Upon A Story:

Early Childhood Language and Literacy Learning. Following the theory of an old Chinese Proverb, “Tell me & I forget. Show me & I remember. Involve me & I understand” seventy teachers rhymed and moved, played and learned and even told a story in three languages! How wonderful that so many of them let me know how they would use the strategies and skills we practiced. As one teacher wrote, “Multi-sensory literacy strategies learned was awesome. I will love using all the information given today.


Then came an Embedded Coaching and Residency with three brilliant teachers at the Child Care Resources of Indian River Center. Using child directed creative and dramatic play, we went on Imaginary Journeys, learned new rhymes, songs and stories, and used steady beat to enhance language acquisition. We not only boosted verbal communication, used our problem solving skills, practiced turn taking and cooperation but we had a huge amount of fun. How gratifying to hear how these amazing, gifted teachers are using the new strategies!

Here are a few quotes from teachers at these sessions:

“I’ve learned new strategies and techniques for building language and learning through play.” 


“I’ve learned so much this past week, adding signing and gestures, graphing, tally marks, props and more.”

“We were amazed at how receptive the children were to Carrie Sue’s introduction of the Spanish language. We plan to work on incorporating more multi-lingual activities.” How incredible to watch these two, three and four year olds absorb these ideas and use them throughout the day. They were retelling the stories, singing the songs on the playground, repeating rhymes at home to their parents.



On Parent’s Night the families came to play! All were eager to learn ways to support their children’s learning. They not only jumped right in but were excited to take these ideas home.

Parents walked away saying:           

“This was great. I will be using more Nursery Rhymes – everywhere!”

“Oh, you have inspired me to read and tell stories more. Thank you.”

This is exactly why I love being a Teaching Artist. A wonderful week and no doubt that the fun – and learning! – will be continuing. My hands, my feet, my heart all say thank you!



Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 


We love our students and the schools we get to teach at, Jessup Elementary is no exception. The teachers and students there are remarkable. We recently had a few classes submit some original writings about Greek Myths. Student creativity is AMAZING. Check out this work submitted through Mrs. Donor’s classroom:

Original Greek Myth Characters:
  • Zeus (King of the Gods), 100 years old, Powerful, Excited
  • Poseidon (God of the Sea) 112 years old, Aggressive, Angry
  • Athena (Goddess of Wisdom) 40 years old, Brave, lonely
  • Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt and Moon), 99 years old, Helpful, Afraid


FullSizeRender (4)Setting: On a Gigantic Cloud above an ocean full of dangerous sharks, Spring Thunderstorm, Chilly, The sky is a dark ominously gray color, huge undulating waves Problem: Poseidon stirs up the ocean creating gigantic angry waves.  He wants to knock Athena off of the clouds and into the water.  Athena bragged directly to Poseidon “I’m  1 million times smarter than you!” She is so cruel to him because he made fun of her yesterday.  Artemis overheard and tells Athena that she’s right. Artemis shouts, “Poseidon is the meanie of the family.”


There were many examples from this school and we will send out more from these young "authors." What an exciting time to be involved in their lives. The creativity and imagination that pours from them is life changing. We LOVE what we do. We LOVE to impact students and thereby change the communities they and we live in.


Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 


A few weeks ago we had a performance that had, as usual, a lasting impact on the students and teachers. Our programming has many objectives that are accomplished simultaneously, this particular performance was about immigration in the US. We want to develop listening skills and encourage the children to think creatively. By engaging the students we foster the desire to read and write stories and poetry and understand the structure of a story. The subject matter helps to teach about the history of immigration in the United States and to cultivate their ability to connect the history they read/hear to the life they are familiar with day in and day out.Lastly we want to expand their knowledge of other communities, gaining respect for other cultures and their traditions. Finally, we want to promote an interest in the theatrical arts.

We provide guides to the teacher for them to be able to use the performances as a touch point and launch pad for digging deeper and stretching the learning. This allows them to take what they see and hear and build upon the exciting visual foundation we set. We often receive excited feedback like this:


We had decided the best way to showcase the kids work was to display it in the hall so that parents would be able to come by and see their child's work at their convenience.  We also have a huge STEM expo coming up when a lot of parents will be visiting school.

Thank you again for visiting our school and sharing your materials with us- the children transferred their dictionaries to their writing folder and are continuing to use them!
With sincere thanks,
Third Grade Lead Teacher
J.W. York Elementary School
IMG_3079We are working hard to get these kind of tools into the hands of as many teachers, educators, and even parents as possible. We want to change the face of the student population and equip them for long term success in, not just school, but life. There are many avenues we are traveling down to achieve this: residencies, performances, workshops, professional development, family literacy nights, networking and many others. We are also working diligently to build the structure for an online resource, a Virtual Classroom, that will provide similar experiences online and tools, i.e. virtual field trips, instructional videos, guides, handouts, etc.
Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too.

This week our Executive Director, Arianna Ross shared a experience she had. To read the whole message please click HERE. Below are a few excerpts:


As the Executive Director of a not-for-profit often times the job is filled with meetings, budgets and paperwork. However, when I decided to help turn this organization into a not-for-profit I made a promise to myself and to the  organization: I would spend at least part of my time still with the community. 

Our home base as an organization is the Washington Metropolitan region.   We work with schools from the heart of south east DC to communities in Virginia and Maryland. Over the years we have worked hard to make certain that 90% of our programs are supported at least in part by an outside funding source. Sometimes we get to travel and support schools in other regions

Photo Jan 09, 11 43 39 AM

Last week we partnered with York Elementary School in Raleigh,  North Carolina. The teachers asked us to focus on having the children write pieces of historical fiction. They were required to step into the shoes of some of the most famous and instrumental civil rights heroes of our time. It was powerful. I observed students do research on Maya Angelou, Thurgood Marshall, Ruby Bridges, Martin Luther King Junior, and so many others. The questions they asked and statements they made were so insightful.

Two examples were.....

 "Ms. Ross, why would someone be mean to another child just because they look different? All children should be allowed to go to school."

"I can't imagine behaving this way. I'm going to grow up and make sure nobody behaves this way to another person."


Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too.


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Organization Information

Story Tapestries Inc.

Location: Germantown, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Arianna Ross
Germantown, MD United States
$3,796 raised of $10,000 goal
80 donations
$6,204 to go
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