Arts Education Artist Page

Pamela Holcomb

Folk Arts • Storytelling

Pam Holcomb is a veteran when it comes to working with young people, having taught high school for 28 years. She has taught various subjects including: Math 1 & 2, Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Speech, Oral Communications, Media, Arts and Humanities and Drama. She has also entertained and delighted audiences of all ages for more than 25 years with tales of Appalachian folklore, humor, adventure, suspense, and drama. With her dramatic flare, she has brought to life stories from all facets of life. Pam Holcomb specializes in mountain folklore, including family stories, and stories collected from the adventures of interesting people she has met. It is her aim to aid in the preservation of the culture of the Appalachian Mountains. Yet, she is very flexible and can easily adapt her stories to any situation or age group.

Potential Residency Project

Educators have long known that the arts can contribute to student academic success and emotional well-being. The ancient art of storytelling is especially well suited for student exploration. As a folk art, storytelling is accessible to all ages and abilities. No special equipment beyond the imagination and the power of listening and speaking is needed to create artistic images. Storytelling is the world's oldest teaching tool and belongs in every classroom.

Through storytelling students will:

  • Develop sensitivity to various worldviews and find new role models.
  • Have school subjects enriched through stories.
  • Develop a further respect for and an interest in heritage and history.
  • Have social values and skills reinforced through stories.
  • Be stimulated to read and write more.
  • Exercise skills of imagination, visualization, concentration.
  • Develop aural comprehension and expressive oral skills.
  • Hear story language and language patterns useful in their own words.
  • Increase self-confidence as they try storytelling.

Storytelling is an integral part of the Arts and Humanities cross walk for drama/theatre in the Kentucky Core Content for Assessment 4.1 on all levels - elementary, middle and high school.

A listing of programs that can be offered include:

  • Teaching students how to tell a story.
  • Gathering family stories for preservation.
  • Writing a story that can be used as a portfolio piece.
  • Presenting a student storytelling showcase.
  • Assembly or group presentations of the art of storytelling.
  • Characterization and the creation of new character.
  • Using the voice in retelling stories, vocal expression, diction, and dialogue.
  • Movements such as gestures and facial expressions.
  • Exercise skills of imagination, visualization, concentration.
  • Develop aural comprehension and expressive oral skills.
  • Hear story language and language patterns useful in their own words.

Increase self-confidence as they try storytelling.
 
If asked, I can do assembly programs for all school levels. I will tell some stories appropriate for the age group and then spend some time talking to the students about the elements of drama, and storytelling. A typical assembly is 45 minutes long.
 
Lessons can be adapted to the teacher's preference. Once the reason for the lesson has been established, I will then adapt my telling to enhance the lesson. Usually the teacher wants me to teach students how to gather and transcribe stories, how to write their own stories (which can often culminate into a portfolio piece as a part of the CATS testing program), or how to tell stories. Storytelling is something every child can achieve. There are no gender gaps, learning gaps, or reason why every child cannot become a storyteller. I stress that they all have a story to tell. 

The experience of storytelling is profound, exercising the thinking and touching the emotions of both teller and listener. In essence, everybody is indeed a storyteller.