The Epic Creation Process begins with the EpicCenter Storyteller presenting a brief epic story appropriate for the students or participants. The storyteller then gives suggestions for sharing stories—fiction or non-fiction—that leads to the creation of a shared epic.
Tailored to Program Length
In a one-day EpicCenter Stories session, participants share stories orally and develop them into a communal narrative. In the two-week program, participants work together in large and small groups and spend time writing and commenting on each other’s stories before Integrating them into one narrative.
In a four-week program, there is time for more writing and analysis, and for each participant or small group to focus on developing one aspect of the communal story. In the twelve week, semester-long version, there is more time for the use of resources to connect the communal epic to the core curriculum subjects of history, social studies, science, mathematics, etc. At each level critical thinking, listening, and communications skills are developed.
Learning Structured in Phases
In each EpicCenter Stories learning module, participation is designed to unfold in two or three phases:
Phase 1: Developing a Community Epic
The Epic Storyteller presents a brief epic story appropriate for the students or participants and gives suggestions for sharing stories—fiction or non-fiction.
Group Session: Participants share stories about themselves using the “epic tone” related to or modeled on the example given. The epic perspective or tone tells a story from a slight distance and with a sense of the story’s importance.
Group Sessions: Participants comment on the epic stories shared by others in the group.
Writing Session: Participants write their stories using the epic tone and what they have learned the comments on their own story and from hearing all the stories.
Writing the Communal Story: The Storyteller writes a communal epic for the group that integrates images and plot elements from the two group sessions.
Sharing the Communal Story: The Storyteller shares the communal epic story.
Correcting and Amplifying the Story: Participants correct and comment on the communal epic story.
Sharing Written Stories: Participants share the individual epic stories they have written.
Phase 2: Making Community Epics Available
Individual Writing Session: Epic stories are typed, revised, and edited by both participants and the Storyteller.
Developing Learning Plans: Participants may choose visuals, videos, and audio recordings to go with their epic stories. In longer sessions, they may build models or create their own visual or audio materials.
Sharing: Epic Stories are uploaded to a website. The communal epic story links to individual epic stories.
Phase 3: Connecting Community Epics with Lessons
A Focus on the Future: At this stage the focus is on amplifying the communal story, understanding it better, and on the future. Where will this story go? What will the hero, the learner, accomplish?
Individual Work Sessions: Participants and available resource professionals—teachers, historians, artists, cultural anthropologists, education professionals—work together to develop learning programs using elements in the epic stories as starting points for exploring core curriculum subjects.
Group Discussion: The learning plan is evaluated by participants and professionals.
Individual Session: Learning plans are revised based on the group discussion.
Sharing: Learning plans are uploaded to the website and linked with communal and individual epic stories. In longer programs, participants then begin working on their learning plans.