Literacy workshops can be ordered from our repertoire and are delivered by skilled arts educators to audiences of all kinds. We can also custom design workshops for the needs of your group. Workshops can be used for professional development, and or delivered in a classroom setting.
Workshops and Keynotes
Developed by: Lori Sherritt-Fleming
Workshops for both teachers and classrooms can be created and tailored to the needs and requests of individual schools. All are hands on and interactive. These are but a few in our repertoire. Keynotes address the success of arts integrated education and offer many active strategies to improve literacy scores in classrooms.
Gr. 5-High school: Interpreting text through “Pinwheel Poetry”. Students use a familiar text as a basis for creating a type of choral poetry that explores character and point of view and allows participants to connect deeply with the plot while writing stunning, original pieces of their own.
K-High School: Using Drama to Connect and Create Story. This type of workshop involves creating ‘a space on the floor’ and using improvisation for students to create their own original stories or to further connect with familiar ones by extending characters, settings and plot scenarios. All activities modelled are intended as springboards for writing original work as well as to be repeatable experiences for teachers to use in their practices.
Gr. 3-High School. Poetry in Motion: Students will learn about rhythm, rhyme, repetition and musicality to create their own poetic pieces.
K-High School. Stories in Sand: Using Drawing as a Tool for Creating Plot. In groups, students will create their own Draw and Tell stories.
Gr. 1-High School. Playbuilding: Creating Retellings. Students will write and act their own retelling of a myth.
Where The Wild Things Are
Developed by: Kari-Lynn Winters
What happens when the Wild Things start tearing up Storytown? Move like Wild Things, then participate in a town interview where students become important townspeople, and devise a myriad of ways to capture the Wild Things and convince them to stop destroying property. Movement, active storytelling and oral presentations make this workshop a hit with all ages! Based on the classis book by Maurice Sendak. (grades 1-3) (1hr. 30 mins)
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
Developed by: Lori Sherritt-Fleming
Do they roar and stomp their feet? (Only for a little while) Students use storytelling, movement, improvisation and tableaux to predict their own ‘mannerly’ endings to Jane Yolen’s popular book. Once they have finished ‘acting out’, students will write a caption and illustrate their very own endings to the book. This workshop is full of giggles and offers dynamic and empowering strategies to bring books to life for young readers. (grades K-1) (1hr 30 mins)
Wham Bam Poetry Slam
Developed by: Lori Sherritt-Fleming
A fabulous complement to “Poetic License”, students write their own “Striking Lines”, employ powerful language and a variety of tools both physical and written, used by performance poets. Students will experience their personal narratives leap from the page to the stage! (grades 4-7) (1hr 30 mins)
Developed by: Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Kari-Lynn Winters
Discover how to incorporate more ‘drama’ into your classrooms. This Pro-D workshop introduces educators to soundscapes, tableaux, forum theatre, positioning and more! All activities can be applied to diverse grade levels and meet curricular outcomes. No background in drama is required, simply come prepared to have loads of engaging fun! (Educators)
Macdonald Elementary—Performance and workshops
Lord Roberts Elementary—Performances and workshops
Lord Roberts Annex—Performance
David Lloyd George—Performances
False Creek Elementary—Performance
Elsie Roy Elementary—Performance and workshops
Simon Fraser Elementary—Performance
Henry Hudson Elementary—Performance
Queen Mary Elementary—Performance
Henry Anderson Elementary—Pro-D Workshop for Teachers
McKinney Elementary, Richmond, BC
Tyee Elementary, Vancouver
Selkirk Elementary, Vancouver
Selkirk Annex, Vancouver
Cunningham Elementary, Vancouver
Bayview Elementary, Pre-School Event, Vancouver
Strawberry Hill Elementary, Surrey
Henderson Annex, Vancouver And many more!
Champlain Heights Library—Performance
West Point Grey Library—Performance
Word on the Street Festival, Vancouver—Performance 2003-2011.
Summer Dream Reading Festival 2006—Performance
West Side District High School Integration Program—Workshops
Vancouver International Children’s Festival 2009, 2007
Esquimalt Story Festival 2006-2011
Richmond Children’s Arts Festival 2009-2011
Summer Reading Club Tour Surrey, BC 2009
Ready Set Learn Tour 2009
West Vancouver, 2008
North Vancouver, Richmond Delta Heritage Fair 2010-2011
ArtStarts Northern Tour, Spring 2013
Lori is an arts educator, performer, children’s author, playwright and producer who has created and implemented many programs for the Vancouver School and Parks Boards including a circus program, a film and video program, and a Harry Potter literacy program. An accomplished children’s performer, Lori founded the Tickle Trunk Players having previously traveled internationally playing such classic characters as Anne of Green Gables and the Velveteen Rabbit. A published writer, her current focus is on children’s literature with manuscripts featuring lively poetry and characters. Lori continues to be a mentor artist with the Creative Writing for Children Society and has been on the Learning Through the Arts roster as a mentor artist. She has toured with ArtStarts in BC and is on their roster as a classroom artist where she delights in doing many residencies. She is also the current president of Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC). See more at lorisherritt.com.
Kari-Lynn Winters is an award-winning children’s author, playwright, presenter, and academic scholar. Sixteen of her picture or poetry books have been published or accepted for publication. She is also an experienced teacher of writing, who has taught a range of students in Canada and the United States, including pre-school, special education, primary and intermediate, high school, and university teacher education. Kari is an assistant professor at Brock University in Ontario, see her Brock page for more information. Her research interests are children’s literature, print literacy and multi-modal forms of learning. See more at kariwinters.com.
The Tickle Trunk Players offer one of the only “Theatre For Literacy” projects in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland where literacy skills are presented, instilled and celebrated in dynamic theatrical performances!
We offer affordable, colourful, curriculum friendly shows that fit any budget. A variety of fully sponsored shows are also available. We perform right in your gymnasium with very little set up (no chairs are required). Performances feature student involvement and are engagingly interactive.
We employ student and teacher friendly publications featuring Canadian content. A teacher integration booklet is available illustrating how activities outlined in the shows can be transferred to the classroom. Our workshops are developed in partnership with host teachers to fit the units they are studying at that time.
The Tickle Trunk Players are proud to present a repertoire of performances in their “Theatre for Literacy Project”. See also Keynotes and workshops.
aRHYTHMetic the Play By Lori Sherritt-Fleming (with guest poets Kari-Lynn Winters and Tiffany Stone)
“aRHYTHMetic” features dragons plus puppies plus shapes to explore, adds bison, a princess and kittens galore! These funny math poems have rhythmical beats, equaling fun that will bounce you right out of your seats! Join the Tickle Trunk troupe and discover the ‘fun’damentals of math and poetry in this imaginative show! Based on the book of the same name by Tickle Trunk Publications. *A great addition to any “Ready, Set, Learn” event. See also the book that inspired this show.
Whatever I Write… By Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming
Jeffrey has writer’s block and finds himself challenged and frustrated when he tries to complete his homework. He doodles instead and goes on an unexpected adventure when his doodle comes to life! Help Jeffrey finish his homework in style as you dance, sing act and learn with the Tickle Trunkers in this imaginative and energetic play based on Kari-Lynn Winters award nominated book, “Jeffrey and Sloth” (Orca Book Publishers, 2007).
Kloshe’nem: First Nations Tales From the West Coast By Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Anastasia Hendry
Aboriginal storytellers and talented Tickle Trunk actors invite you on this brand new, interactive theatrical adventure! Featuring tales from the North West Coast First Nations People, you will travel with Raven, soar with Eagle and discover why certain places were given their names! A living history is shared with authentic artifacts in this information rich and entertaining show.
While this show is no longer on the roster, it enjoyed a fantastic 3 year run at festivals and schools and was featured on the ArtStarts touring roster.
The Meaning Maker By: Kari-Lynn Winters
Follow Braidie as she learns to make meaning from stories after the “Meaning Messer” puts a nasty spell on her. Learn with her as the “Story Wizard” helps her to discover how connection, prediction and visualization can help her to recover her love for reading. This engaging show employs drama, improvisation and music to explore how children make meanings from literature and features a strong core curriculum focus on literacy.
(K-3) (45 minutes)
I’ve Got Rhythm By: Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Kari-Lynn Winters
Early literacy leaps to life as students are captivated by the lively dramatizations of expert storytellers. Discover the “fun”damentals of reading, writing, speaking and listening using some of the fanciful and familiar rhythms and rhymes of early childhood. Participation is encouraged and giggles guaranteed as early learners develop an appetite for books.
(Pre-school-1) (30 minutes)
Sporty Shorts By: Lori Sherritt-Fleming and Kari-Lynn Winters
Sports is the theme of this lively show! Race in the soap box derby, compete as a free-range aerialist or score in a game of street hockey! This show promotes a life long love of reading as students experience literacy through a creative and interactive performance that will have you calling out for more! Warning: Enthusiasm for the show is contagious, make sure libraries are well stocked.
(grades K-4) (45 minutes)
Hooked On Hockey By: Kari-Lynn Winters and Lori Sherritt-Fleming
Join the Tickle Trunkers in a highly interactive and engaging show featuring ‘slapshot’ humour, poetry, storytelling, songs and more! ‘Score’ points with your students by taking away great ideas about how to help literacy make a ‘power play’ in your very own classrooms!
(grades K-3) (40 minutes)
Poetic License By: Lori Sherritt-Fleming
‘Hip hop’ storytellers and high energy performance poets will have the audience chanting and ranting along as Meghan and Claire endeavour to create a ‘living literature’ piece to present at their school’s Literary Cafe. Select audience members will grab their paddles and fly through improvisations that propel the plot along. Everyone actively contributes as Meghan and Claire transform the French Canadian folk tale “The Flying Canoe” into a fabulous piece of performance poetry!
The Tickle Trunk Players gratefully acknowledge the support of Tangerine bank and thank them for sponsoring performances and workshops in schools and communities throughout the year. Tangerine supports community programs that help children reach their full potential through initiatives that focus on education, health and imagination. Many Tangerine employees volunteer their time to the community groups they support by personally participating in programs organizing events and fundraising.
The Tickle Trunk Players gratefully acknowledge the generous support of Orca Book Publishers and their contributions to school libraries in cooperation with the Theatre for Literacy Project.
What the Tickle Trunk Players taught us is amazing because it will influence 1000’s of children. Their workskhops and shows have a trickle effect; we will use the strategies they presented to us for years to come as educators. The ripple effect is incredible! Students always remember the empowerment they get from special projects like the ones the Tickle Trunk Players offer.
Mr. Davis, Teacher, Henry Anderson Elementary, Richmond, BC
During the performance of “Poetic License” for our intermediate students, I loved how the actors incorporated students and had student volunteers doing tableaux as an integrated part of the script. I liked the connection of the performance to literacy and the strategies such as ‘the connection chain’ and the ‘artistic draw’ that the actors used.
Teacher, David Lloyd George Elementary, Vancouver, BC
The Tickle Trunk Players workshops for teachers were organized, well paced and very practical. They featured ideas that were extremely accessible and applicable to my practice.
Teacher, Henry Anderson Elementary, Richmond, BC
I loved how the shows tied directly into the reading power and reading strategies that we teach in our classrooms. The writing format of the shows was great because students could later use what they experienced as a basis for developing their writing skills in their language arts units. The shows set them up for success!
Teacher, David Lloyd George Elementary, Vancouver, BC
I loved the part where the turnip was as big as a house!
Student, Tyee Elementary, Vancouver, BC
Our students were enthralled with the performance and came back to class bubbling about it. The teachers commented on how engaged the students were. Early Literacy is one of our school goals and the teachers were impressed with the strategies presented and will be trying the writing ideas with their classes.
R.J. Collins Acting Principal, Simon Fraser Elementary, Vancouver, BC
I’m amazed that you could fit so many learning strategies into a show and make them entertaining!
We are a team of professional actors and educators who have trained and performed for over a decade in Canada, Europe, the United States and Australia. See our bios, and see a Youtube video and some radio interviews on our press page.
What is the Tickle Trunk?
The company name was inspired by childhood memories of Ernie Coombs as Mr. Dressup and the magical segment of his show where he would open his “Tickle Trunk” and pull out all kinds of costumes, props and imaginative art activities. Children were filled with wonder and anticipation each time the “Tickle Trunk was opened. See much more detail at Wikipedia.
Like Mr. Dressup, the Tickle Trunk Players offer a place where education, inspiration and imagination abound; where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. We have an abundance of creative resources and we “play” with play so that make believe becomes an empowering learning tool. We deliver theatre for education!
What Do We Do?
We provide innovative, interactive and affordable theatre performances and workshops for pre-school and elementary audiences. Our aim is to educate as well as entertain! Our primary focus is literacy with dynamic shows that highlight specific learning outcomes!