Schools & Libraries - Assembly Programs - Educational Entertainment - Assemblies

Marilyn Kinsella Programs

The Quintessential Sesquicentennial Stories of the Civil War

Civil War Music to Soothe the Savage Beast: 

How music was instrumental in providing: a sense of peace; a call to arms; a Morse code, of sorts; a revelry for weary soldiers. These facts lead to two stories about songs still used today - Taps and Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley.

Believe It Or Not ... It Happened in the Civil War: 

The people, places, and events...that were strange - yet fascinating. Many military "firsts" happened in the Civil War. These facts lead toGoing Ballistic - a mysterious rocket that was said to have been launched to demolish the White House. What happened to it? Is it still orbiting the's a mystery!

Daughters of the Regiment:

Women wore both blue and gray to serve the War Between the States. Facts about well-known women - Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman lead to stories about fictionalized women who meet on the battlefield.

Gray Ghosts and Blue Spirits:

After exploring the ghostly haunts that still send chills, Marilyn tells a fictionalized story using the facts and fantasies of certain sightings.

Stories from Mother Earth

many Native American stories including "Skunny Wundy and the Stone Giant," (Iroquois); "How Possum Got His Tail," (Creek); "Coyote Dances with the Stars," (Cherokee) Click on Native American Stories for a complete list.

Christmas Stories of Light

Religious and fun stories for the holiday include: "Do You See the Lights?," "The Legend of the Poinsettia," and "Red Shoes for a Real Princess" - an original tale. Click on "Christmas Stories" for a complete listing.

Spooktacular Stories

fun and/or scary stories include: "Mr. Fox," "Mary Culhane and the Dead Man," "The Humpback Gorrible," "The Hobyhas," and Taleypo's trademark story "Tailypo." Click on "Halloween Stories" for a complete listing.

Fair Views from Old Fairview

Click on title for personal memories from growing up in a small town in Illinois - includes Taleypo signature story "Makin' Music" and "The Great Crabapple War of '56."

Magic Carpet Ride

stories from around the world geared for young audiences K- 6th grades include African, Asian and European classics with many trickster tales from the four corners of the Earth.

Funny Fractured Tales

both original adaptations such as "Demon Goat" and "Rumpelstiltskin." and literary works include "Sleeping Ugly," by Jane Yolen and "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka. Click on Fractured Fairy Tales Study Guide, Fractured Fairy Tales Workshop Paper, and the more comprehensive - Fractured Thoughts

Pure Americana

Pioneer stories, tall tales, Br'er Rabbit and more stories that grew up in the United States. This program can also include true stories about famous Americans.

A Potpourri of PreSchool Stories

Fun, short, participatory stories for the young listeners - The Wishing Star, Chit-Chat, Tiki-Piki/ Boom-Boom, The Gunniwolf. Programs include Nursery Rhymes and Samantha, the gorilla puppet.

Earth Day Stories:

Stories on being a Good Earth Citizen: How the Animals Were Formed, The Starfish Story and other nature stories.

The Sights; The Sounds; The Story of the 1904 World's Fair

45-minute program that walks the listener through a virtual tour of the St. Louis World's fair that leads in to the story "When Memories Come Fourth."

Get a Clue:

Stories that answer "Who, What, Where, When, Why and How". Listeners become detectives as they try to guess the end of "Br'er Possum and Br'er Snake" or "Who's in Rabbit's House?" or how something happened in "The Donkey in the Well." Program includes Samantha telling Knock-Knock jokes.

Stories From the Seven Seas:

Pirate stories, mermaid tales and jokes. Puppet show, Treasure on Book Island, also available.

Stories from Afar:

Star Stories from many lands including "Coyote Dances With the Stars" as a story or as a puppet show.

Snug as a Bug Through Story and Song

Bug stories including "The Little Red Ant and the Big Crumb", a Mexican Fable, by Shirley Climo and "La Cucaracha Martina" - Hispanic folktale from many countries. Bug songs: The Ants Go Marching, Oh I wish I Were a Little...., and others. Samantha, the gorilla puppet, is also on hand to tell jokes to truly bug you!

Stories 'n Stones Programs



Marilyn tells the Iroquois story Skunny Wundy and the Stone Giant. Larry demonstrates the various stone tools mentioned in the story - arrowheads, stone axes, and atlatls and spears. The program finishes with The Whistling Tsonaquas and a question and answer session.



TRAIL Highlights the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Marilyn starts the program by telling The Piasa - an illinois pictagraph that is located at the beginning of their journey. Larry talks about the various tribes they encountered along the way and compares and contrasts their technologies. Marilyn finishes by telling The Whistling Tsonaquas - a story from the Northwest Coast where the expedition ended


Stories of the sun and fire
(Grandmother Spider Brings the Light and Coyote Brings the Light) coupled with knowledge about how to make primitive fires.


Marilyn tells the true story of Ishi - the last of the California Yahi Indians. Larry demonstrates the primitive skills that Ishi taught others fire-making, tlintknapping and stone tool making. Other stories include Rabbit the Arrow Maker and Coyote Brings the Fire.


Stories about survival coupled with survival techniques.


A look at the famous calendar made of wooden posts and stories about day/night and the seasons of the year...and more programs for 2007 summer reading. Legend ofthe Red Cedar - Cherokee Legend


Stories and stone writing and pictures are compared from Southern Illinois (called Little Egypt) to the Land ofthe Pharaohs (Big Egypt).


After the story, "The Game Between the Birds and Animals, Larry demos the various game pieces that the Indians used and how they were made. The last story is a star legend about boys playing with atlatls and spears. Iftime and space allow, the audience will throw spears using the atlatl. Developed for the 2008 Summer Reading Program