Act!vated Story Theatre

Act!vated Folktales for Reading Out Loud

Watch a story and learn some Sign Language

Read Stories Online

Here are some act!vated stories for you to read aloud. These stories have been adapted from some of the stories that were performed on stage. They are best when they are read out loud. So grab a friend and start reading together.

Jack and the Beanstalk. Open the book. Click to read.

Jack and the Beans Talk Yes, the beans really talk! Hover your mouse over the beans to see what they say.

Davy Crockett - opening book. Click to read.

Davy Crockett the man and the legend (You decide where to put the animals on your screen as you read.)

The Golden Pitcher. Open the book. Click to read.

The Golden Pitcher from Mongolia. A tale of age and wisdom. Bonus slide show!

Orpheus, a Greek Myth. Open the book. Click to read!

Orpheus a Greek Myth. Orpheus and Eurydice journey to the underworld of Hades and his three headed dog Cerberus, features artwork by students. Read the Chorus parts aloud with a group.

Vasalisa and Baba Yaga. Open the book. Click to read.

Vasalisa and Baba Yaga The Russian Cinderella faces the nasty ole ogre Baba Yaga. Features photos from the stage production. Bonus slide show!

Simple Ivan - a story from Russian. Open the Book. Click to Read!

Simple Ivan a simpleton story from Russia - with suggestions for acting it out.

Old Stormalong - a great American Hero. Open the book. Click to read.

Old Stormalong a great American hero from the sea

Follow the Buzz - A story from Japan, also known as "The Bee and the Dream" told in the narrative style of "Unfortunate Events".

Toyama no Kin-san - A "Robin Hood" story we learned during our trip to Japan.

Scene from Red Riding Hood

Listen and Read along with the Act!vated Actors

Activated Stories Podcast

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  • Anansi and the Story Box: a tale from Ghana in Africa, about the legendary spider-man hero of the Ashanti tribe, and how he brought stories to the world.
  • The Four Dragons: A tale about how four dragons in very ancient times tried to persuade the Jade Emperor, the supreme god of ancient Chinese folklore, to send water to earth.
  • The Lizard and the Frog: an origin story from Uganda. Origin stories are tales made up to explain how things came to be the way they are.
  • The Princess who Couldn't Laugh: a classic story from Norway about a princess who was very charming except that she had no sense of humor.
  • Rumpelstiltskin: one of the classic fairy tales about a supernatural creature who comes to the aid of a damsel in distress and demands a stiff payment unless the damsel can guess his name. Originally told by the Brothers Grimm.
  • Something from Nothing: a charming and inspiring Jewish tale popularized by the picture book of the same name by Phoebe Gilman.
  • Tar Baby: a trickster tale about the Rabbit (often called Brer Rabbit), who is a recurring character in these folktales.
  • The Tortoise and the Hare: popularized by the Greek slave Aesop, who told a great many fabulous fables. In later centuries, many similar stories sprang up in many cultures around the world.
  • The Ugly Duckling: or as we like to say the somewhat less than attractive duckling, Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fable about judging people (or fowl) by their plumage.

Stories to Share for the Holidays

  • OCTOBER: In the mood for a ghost story? Read the story of the Gettysburg Ghosts and see if you can find the ghosts hiding on the page.
  • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: Our list of podcast stories to help you celebrate the winter season and all the joy it brings.
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