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Octavia Sexton

Octavia Sexton

Arts Education Artist
  • Storytelling; Literary Arts; Folk Arts


    ​An experienced educator as well as a storytelling and story writing specialist, Octavia can easily help teachers design a residency using storytelling to teach the core content of their curriculum area.  Octavia has been doing residencies in Kentucky’s schools for over 20 years and works with kindergarten through high school using the art of storytelling to teach drama, writing, history, Appalachian culture and more.  A native of eastern Kentucky, she grew up in a rich tradition of storytelling. She has been privileged to learn folk tales, ‘haint’ tales (ghost stories), Jack tales and Cherokee legends handed down from her English, Irish, and Cherokee ancestors. Inspired by the Appalachian art of storytelling the core of her stories is rooted in the traditions and lifestyles of her family and her past.

    Octavia attended a one room grade school in Eastern Kentucky; received a BA from Berea College in History/English Education; and did her graduate work in health education.  She is a published author and has recorded several CDs of her stories.

    Potential Residency Project

    All residencies are designed to incorporate literary and drama elements together with the Appalachian folk art of storytelling. They are core content based, make connections to other curriculum areas and use whole brain teaching strategies. Teaching materials and lesson plans, developed by Octavia, are provided for the teachers to keep and use.

    Potential WRITING residencies include:

    Elementary — Classroom activities focus on students writing a fictional story modeled after a Jack Tale together with Native American cultures and the Colonial period.

    Middle — classroom activities focus on students comparing Jack Tales to stories from the Classical Greek and Roman periods and writing their own ‘Odyssey’ with Jack as the hero.

    High — Classroom activities use the student’s writing of their own Jack Tale to explore and reinforce learning in the subject area being taught; from the study of famous artists to eastern cultures.

    Potential STORYTELLING residencies include:

    Elementary, Middle and High — Classroom activities focus on developing performance and technical elements as well as individual creativity to present an oral story, skit or play.

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