Storytellers-Side by Side


storytellers-sidebysideKaren Young and Gale Rublee Portman teamed up in 2006 to form Storytellers Side by Side. In their inventive and interactive programs for schools they combine stories, drama, science, history, mystery, science and math to make learning fun. Drawing upon their unique talents and skills in theater, storytelling, writing, teaching and nature education, they spark collaborative problem solving and creatively bring grade-level curriculums to life.

Karen Young has been enthralling audiences with her historical “Peek into the Past” and “Kid Tales from Around the World and Back in Time” storytelling programs since 1992.

“Karen Young brings to each group of children her warm smile, a twinkle in her eyes and a magical way with words… to make her a Storyteller Extraordinaire.”
Elementary Teacher

Gale Rublee Portman is an actress, teacher, storyteller and environmental educator who shares her love of nature, encourages creative expression and inspires audiences to connect to themselves, each other and the world we share.

“Her stories made fun pictures in my head!” — Student

Story Detective One-Hour Workshops
Presented by Storytellers Side by Side

The Case of the Missing Little Red Riding Hood & Grandma

ridinghoodLittle Red Riding Hood and Grandma are missing! The Once Upon A Time Detective Agency is called in to investigate. Students will become Story Detectives and join Detectives Grimm and Anderson to help solve the case of “The Missing Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma.” They will learn what a detective does along with some of the terms and tools they use. As Story Detectives, they will listen carefully to the suspects’ stories, take notes and collect data. Working collaboratively in small groups students will use critical thinking, reading, and math skills to complete their suspect’s data worksheet and figure out how “It All Adds Up.”
Grades: 2-5
Curriculum Connections: Math/Patterns, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Communications Arts & Storytelling

“We love how they incorporate literature and math and fuse
them so seamlessly. The students use skills gained throughout the
year in a way that’s relevant to them!” —
Elementary Teacher

“This was the BEST program we have ever had!” — Elementary Teacher

It All Adds Up: The Case of Little Bo Peep’s Lost Sheep

Little Bo PeepDetectives Grimm and Anderson of the Once Upon A Time Detective Agency are back with a new mystery to solve—“The Case of Little Bo Peep’s Lost Sheep.”  Are they simply missing or has a crime been committed? Student “Story Detectives” will work collaboratively in small groups to analyze the evidence, evaluate the suspects, and use Story Math to complete their suspect’s data worksheet. Will this tale of missing tails have a happy ending? Only if the students use their critical thinking skills and smarts to see through the maze of clues to find the truth and figure out how “It All Adds Up.”
Grades: 2-5
Curriculum Connections: Math/Patterns, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Communication Arts, & Storytelling.

“These ladies do a wonderful job engaging the students while
incorporating nursery rhymes and fairytales into their performance.
The students must be critical listeners to find clues
to solve the mystery.” — Elementary Teacher

Quotes from students: “Awesome.” “Amazing.” “The best thing in my life!”

Story Tree: Life in the Forest

storytreeLayered with facts about Missouri forest and animal habitats and life cycles, this interactive one-hour workshop supports language, science and character education. “Life in the Forest” is centered around the magical Story Tree. Not only does it house and feed the forest animals, but it is also Mother Nature’s favorite spot to tell stories. Naturalist Nancy provides all the fun facts as Mother Nature’s story turns students into flying, buzzing, slithering, prancing and hopping forest animals. A group worksheet reviews the habitat concepts and reinforces language and reading skills.
Grades: K-3
Curriculum Connections: Science/Ecology, Communication Arts, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Storytelling & Character Education

“This is most engaging. Timing was great! We just read
a story about bees and are currently learning about
plant life in our science unit.” — Elementary Teacher

“Lots of appropriate science vocabulary.” — Elementary Teacher


Springboard Partner Schools can book these programs at