Workshops / Residencies for Students

Fun. Focused. Fast-Paced.



Civil War quilts and poetry

Collecting family stories

Everyone tells a story

Kids Tell it Write!

In these interactive workshops, kids discover they do have something they want to share … and tell …. and write.


In her Narrative Writing Workshop, Sue models effective storytelling followed by a discussion of the elements of a good story. Then Sue leads students through a series of fun, interactive, classroom-tested activities designed to allow them to discover how they can bring a story to life with a little imagination, some knowledge of the basics, and a willingness to experiment. Topics include: beginning, middle, end, characters, setting, problem, solution, effective use of dialogue to move the story forward, important-interesting-supporting details, the importance of word choice, and more!


Sue’s unique approach to Expository Writing includes ACTIVities that highlight introductions, conclusions, transitions, focus, facts, feelings, opinions, elaboration, organization and sequencing, as well as creative mnemonic devices students use during state testing.


In these workshops students unlock the Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? and Whew! of their writing before they pick up a pencil. Then prepare yourself for the incredible transformation in student writing once they learn they’ve got a fabulous story to tell!


"Sue Black's creative approach to expository writing has students up from their seats and invested in the writing process. Her dedication to research based learning is clearly illustrated in her delivery method of instructional best practice. I have never seen students so excited to begin their writing! I was completely engaged!"
---Helene Caliva, M.A., N.B.C.T., Gifted Education Specialist


You and Me–Bully Free! / Classroom Follow-up

Dynamic classroom workshop activities for students focus on team building, cultivating a culture of inclusion where differences are respected, and specific bullying prevention strategies to empower kids to make a difference. For more information see Sue's YouAndMe-BullyFree website.

“Important and valuable content masterfully delivered.” ---5th grade teacher

Kids Tell! Students Tell Stories

Students in grades two through eight read, select, adapt, and learn to tell folktales from around the world in this school, library, or park district residency adapted to fit your timeframe and curricular goals. Sue’s enthusiasm is contagious as students learn the importance of voice, dialogue, body language, facial expressions, and gestures to communicate effectively. As students present their stories to their peers or younger listeners, the literacy circle is complete – Read! Write! Tell! Listen!

“When we got home last night, my son Joey said, "That was fun.  I learned a lot." 
"Really?" I said, “What did you learn?" 
"I don't know.  I just know I learned." 
He can't put it into words yet, but he really grew last night.  And what a beautiful thing to see it happen before your eyes...growth, grace, composure, accomplishment. do good work!”

---Parent Email

Public Speaking and Forensics Competition

Sue combines her years of storytelling and teaching experience to captivate, motivate, and help students articulate their public speeches, monologues, and/or performances. Areas covered can include: introductions, maintaining characters, use of voice, facial expressions and gestures, pronunciation/enunciation, pacing, genuine emotional content, the back story, how to learn without memorizing, how to practice, and more!


For more information regarding Sue's Bullying Prevention workshops visit Sue's YouAndMe-BullyFree website.


Recent Workshops/Residencies with Students

Kids Tell it Write!

  • Lincoln School, Highland Park, IL - Feb. 2015
  • Kingsley Elementary School, Evanston, IL - March 2015, Jan. 2014
  • Seventh Ave School, LaGrange, IL - May 2014
  • Oak School, Hinsdale, IL - Jan. 2014
  • Kingsley School, Evanston, IL – May 2013
  • Lincoln School, Highland Park, IL – January 2013
  • Oak School, Hinsdale, IL – January 2013
  • Kingsley School, Evanston, IL -- May 2012
  • Oakton School, Evanston, IL -- April/May 2012
  • Sacred Heart Schools, Chicago, IL -- January-March 2012
  • Holy Cross School, Deerfield, IL -- December 2011
  • Oak School, Hinsdale, IL -- November 2011
  • Project Arte, Illinois Migrant Council Summer School, Hoopeston, IL – July 2011
  • Patterson Elementary School, Naperville, IL – April 2011
  • Kingsley School, Evanston, IL – March 2011
  • Project Arte, Illinois Migrant Council Summer School, Hoopeston, IL – July 2010
  • Project Arte, Illinois Migrant Council Summer School, Kankakee, IL – July 2010
  • Robert Clow Elementary School, Naperville, IL – March 2010
  • Spring Brook Elementary School, Naperville, IL – February 2010
  • Lakewood School, Ann Arbor, MI – March 2009
  • Lake Bluff Public Library, Lake Bluff, IL – March 2009
  • Spring Brook School, Naperville, IL – February 2009
  • Glenview Public Library, Glenview, IL – March 2008
  • Robert Clow Elementary School, Naperville, IL – December 2007 / October 2006
  • Oak School, Hinsdale, IL – November 2007
  • Immanuel Lutheran School, East Dundee, IL – November 2007
  • Tate Woods Elementary School, Lisle, IL - March 2007


Kids Tell! Students Tell Stories

  • Seventh Ave School, LaGrance, IL - May 2014
  • Kingsley School, Evanston, IL - Jan 2014
  • Oak School, Hinsdale, IL - Jan 2014
  • Scott School, Naperville, IL – December 2012–May 2013
  • Sacred Heart Schools, Chicago, IL – April/May 2011, January–March 2012
  • Greenbriar School, Northbrook, IL – November 2010 thru February 2011
  • Robert Clow Elementary School Storytelling Club, Naperville, IL – Year-long residency 2012 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002
  • Co-producer, Clow School Storytelling Festival, Naperville, IL - May 2012 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003
  • GibbyStock Summer Theatre/Storytelling Camp, Heron, IL – August 2008
  • Evanston District 65, Oakton School, Evanston, IL, - April 2008 / 2007
  • Forest Road School / LaGrange Park, IL – January 2007
  • Montessori School Storytelling Club, Batavia, IL – April 2006
  • Freeman Partnership School, Aurora, IL - January-March 2006
  • Joliet Central High School 21st Century Project, Joliet, IL - March 2006
  • Meadow Glens School Storytelling Club, Naperville, IL – October, April 2005
  • Lincoln School, Sterling, IL - April 2005
  • Mill Street School, Naperville, IL - May 2004
  • Indian Prairie School District Summer of Learning, Naperville, IL - July 2003



Partial funding may be available through the Illinois Art Council and the Arts-In-Education program.
Sue welcomes the opportunity to work with you to present a program tailored to your needs at an appropriate price.