A slice of life post: String Stories

Yesterday, an old family friend who homeschools her two sons came to pick up my step-daughter and take her along on a vacation trip for the weekend. She mentioned how her older son has become an avid string gamer since I introduced him to Cat’s Cradle and other string games during a similar visit they made last year. I got out my box of string and yarn and my collection of books about making string figures, and we spent about an hour sharing and reflecting about one of my favorite pastimes.
She had come to share my fascination with string games, discovering how widely played they are around the world. She was especially interested in string games that involve telling stories but had not found much information at her local library. I was excited to able to loan her one of my favorite books on the topic, “String Stories:A Creative, Hands-On Approach for Engaging Children in Literature” by Belinda Holbrook.

Image of the cover of String Stories: A Creative, Hands-On Approach for Engaging Children in Literature by Belinda Holbrook

String Stories by Belinda Holbrook

There’s something so gratifying about encountering people who share one’s passions. Even though I had lots of other work I should have been doing, it felt more important to stop for an hour and enjoy an unexpected connection.

Cross-posted to “Two Writing Teachers” and the NWP iAnthology “Writing into the week.”


Fred is a Teaching Artist, an arts integration advocate & a social justice activist. He is near completing a two-month Residency as String Game Performance Teacher at Calabasas Elementary School in Watsonville, CA, and performed at the 2015 Santa Cruz Storytelling Festival. He also serves as Teacher Consultant for Professional Development with UCSC's Central California Writing Project and as their Technology Liaison to the National Writing Project. He is a Connected Learning Facilitator and coordinates Face To Face Drop Ins on Connected Learning biweekly at Arts Council Santa Cruz County. He teaches self-directed & connected learning via real-world projects & string games through his Original Digital Project, an Associate of the Arts Council.

Posted in Fred's
One comment on “A slice of life post: String Stories
  1. dogtrax says:

    I remember you talking to me about String activities. It is something I am so completely unfamiliar with, Fred.
    I’m glad to see you posting about the activities.

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