Elementary School



Learn to Write Your Own Fairy Tale

A Performance and Workshops for Grades 3-5

What does a fairy tale tell a child? It says,“You’ll leave home, but magical strangers will help you with gifts on your journey. Life is a forest of mysteries, however, so be brave and never lose hope. Just keep going, because at your journey’s end, happiness awaits you.”

Fairy tales are literary super-vitamins that nourish a child’s inner life. Einstein once wrote, “If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” Storyteller and Author Odds Bodkin agrees and for decades he has written and performed fairy tales and taught their hidden structure at the graduate level. This special one-day residency teaches elementary-age students to write original fairy tales, imagining versions of themselves as the heroine or the hero.
While the fantasy is unreal, the good feelings it gives us about ourselves and our future are real, and these good feelings are what we need to sustain us.” – Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment

The Performance: After an introduction with magical music on Celtic harp, Odds Bodkin tells two rare fairy tales filled with classic story elements:

         The Little Shepherd: A Fairy Tale with a Boy Hero (12-string guitar)

         The Tale of the Kittens: A Fairy Tale with a Girl Hero (2nd 12-string guitar)

The Classroom Workshops: In open discussion, Odds guides students to look for these elements in the stories they have just heard:

             The Hero/The Heroine

            Fairy Tales and Family

            Mysterious Numbers: 3 and 7

            The Journey Away from Home

            The Magic Gifts that Help Us Later

            The Magical Helpers We Meet: Animals and People

            The Fairy Tale Forest: Scary Mysteries

            Overcoming Challenges: Our Happy Ending

Once students learn to see fairy tale story elements, they can use them in any situation they encounter. They can better handle bullying, failure, rejection and frustration by never giving up, being open to strangers but still cautious, and always having hope for the future—character traits that make for strong kids, ones who are motivated from within.

For fees and availability, email us using our contact form!




Empathy-Awareness Performances for K-3 and 4-6 Audiences

Two different hour-long assembly performances of age-appropriate tales with music followed by full-group discussions where students raise their hands and answer Odds’ intriguing ethical questions. Highly effective with multicultural groups.

“effortless…the kids loved the show…meaningful and fun… effective behavior management and you do it quite beautifully…I will share my highest recommendation.” — Rebecca Spellios, PTO parent

GOLDEN RULE for Grades K-2/3

Welcomed as they arrive with harp music and given a stretch mid-show, students hear three stories, The Name of the Tree, an African folktale on thumb piano, The Wind and the Sun, an Aesop’s Fable on harp and Tale of the Kittens, an interactive sing-along story from Italy on 12-string guitar. The lessons are learning to remember and help others, kindness as strength, and the outcomes of social behavior. (1 hour)

GOLDEN RULE for Grades 4-5/6

Welcomed as they arrive with harp music and given a stretch mid-show, students hear three stories, The Stonecutter, a powerful Samurai tale on 12-string guitar, The Boys and the Frogs, an Aesop’s Fable on harp, and Finn McCool and the Big Man, a rhythmically infectious sing-along story from Ireland on 12-string guitar. Lessons are the misuse of power, how thoughtless actions can hurt others, and using wit and words rather than force. (1 hour)







Special Elementary Performances:


Grades 4-6 (1 hr)

With a full score on 12-string guitar, Odds uses character voices, vocal sounds and narrative to tell Homer’s tale of Odysseus and his journey from Troy to the Cave of the Cyclops.



In this 3-day residency composed of two 45-minute shows per day, Odds tells Homer’s entire epic tale with 12-string guitar, Celtic harp and 37 character voices. Total time: 4 hours. Inquire for details.


American Tall Tales

Grades 3-6 (1 hr)


Greek Myths

Grades 4-6 (1 hr)



What happens at an Odds Bodkin performance?

Students listen to a variety of different characters and vocal effects and experience music on different instruments, all performed live. His performances are designed to stimulate their imaginations, increase their attention spans and provide arts enrichment.

Performance Details:

  • ~ 1 hour Performance
  • Three Stories
  • Music, Sound Effects & Voicecraft
  • Instruments: 6 or 12-string guitar, Celtic Harp, Alto Recorder and/or African Thumb Piano
  • Explanations of instruments
  • Stories are interactive and student participation is highly encouraged!
  • Stories are based on age-old ethical, moral and philosophical questions

Remember: we recommend K-3 and 4-6 shows for age-appropriate effect, but Odds can easily hold an audience of K-6th graders entirely spellbound. There is no limit to audience size. He is as comfortable in a gym as an auditorium. He requires one hour to set up and if local in New England, provides his own PA system. Venues that require a plane ride are asked to provide a suitable PA system for Odds to use, plus travel and lodging expenses.

1,3 & 5 Day Residencies & In-Class Sessions

Odds offers 1, 3 and 5-day residencies that begin with assembly performances followed by grade-appropriate storytelling/writing workshops. Often a community performance for parents and children culminates the visit.

  • For K-2 he offers Creative Storymaking, where children raise their hands to add ideas to original stories they create, live, with music and Odds’ help.
  • For 3rd grade and up, he offers versions of The Door to Imagination, a fun, exciting experience where students are guided with a story to discover and discuss their “Five Imaginations“. He links these discoveries to the writing process and creative learning habits.
In-class Workshop
45 Minutes
1-day Residency:
1 assembly performance
3 class workshops
3-day Residency:
2 assembly performances
10 class workshops
5-day Residency:
3 assembly performances
17 class workshops


For schools where students have access to individual iPads, a 3-5 day residency where 5th graders learn to score a spoken-word story with music and sound effects. Their content creation experience combines literature, music, imagination and technology.

Watch a video that describes ThinAirMusic©:


Watch a video for a description of StoryScience, Odds Bodkin’s myth meets modern science program that combines a storytelling performance with a multi-media presentation about what climate change means:


For fees, availability and booking information, contact us!