SLC’s Classroom Storytelling program is inspired by Vivian Paley’s storytelling and story acting work. The project combines early literacy research and classroom practice with mentoring and seminar discussions in a yearlong training program where:

  • Teachers implement strategies that help young children extend their vocabularies, develop print awareness, cultivate oral expression and develop an understanding of narrative form through dictation and dramatization of their own stories.
  • Teachers address the role of language acquisition and the cultural dynamics of teacher-student relationships as critical factors for children learning to read and write.
  • Teachers create classrooms that inspire children to read and write through storytelling and other research-based early literacy activities.

Classroom Storytelling training includes in-depth monthly seminars and personalized support from an experienced mentor teacher. Mentors will visit teachers’ classrooms and share best practices for implementing new early literacy methods.

This is an application- and interview-based program.

Program Details

A sampling of seminar topics:

  • The power of read aloud
  • Oral language development
  • Storytelling and story-acting
  • The critical importance of play
  • Early literacy environment: From theory to practice
  • Early literacy environment: The teacher’s role
  • Culture and community
  • The literate classroom: Putting it all together

Priority Application Deadline

We are extending the application deadline. A new deadline will be determined soon.

Ready to apply?

Click on the green “Apply Now” button to the right and complete a few short questions to create an account.

Should you have questions, please contact slc@rice.edu or Emily Merriweather at 713-348-5333.



Tuition is typically covered through campus-or district-based state or national funding, PTO support, participant payment, or individual donations. For more information, please contact slc@rice.edu.


Rice University believes in the importance of developing teacher leaders. Classroom Storytelling offers a limited number of merit based partial fellowships to highly qualified prospective students. Fellowship opportunities can be discussed during the interview stage of the application process.



2020-2021 Classroom Storytelling Application


Join us for a free, convenient information session featuring Rice University's Yearlong Programs for early childhood and elementary educators. Information sessions take place on-campus at the Anderson-Clarke Center.

Attendance at an information session is not required to apply for Classroom Storytelling.


Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.