AISA Online Deep Dive: Story Workshop – Supporting Early Years’ Literacy through Play and the Arts

The aim of this deep dive session is to advance educators' capacity and confidence in utilizing the story workshop approach.
  • Deep Dives
  • Educators working with children ages 3-8 years
  • Virtual
  • September - 2021
  • This Deep Dive session will run over a period of 5 weeks


The cost of this Deep Dive course is US$ 250/person

This is an AISA Members Only Event. You must LOG IN to your profile on this website to register. Once registered, the AISA team will provide an invoice to facilitate the payment.

Story workshop is a structure for early literacy that amplifies the relationships between play, the arts, and writing. By creating images through play, story workshop invites children to explore the amazingness of their ideas.  Through their stories, students share the meaning they make of their experiences in the world.

During this five-week Deep Dive, educators will use Susan Harris MacKay’s new book “Story Workshop: New Possibilities for Young Writers” (Heinemann, 2021) to consider their intentions, reflect on their current practice, and investigate what lies just beyond its edges.  Through an ongoing cyclical process of imagining, observing, unpacking, and projecting, the group will support each other new discover new possibilities for themselves and the children they teach.

Participants should purchase a copy (digital or print version) of  Susan Harris MacKay’s new book in advance of the Deep Dive.

As a result of attending this deep dive session, participants will:

  • Deepen their understanding of the theory underpinning playful literacy.
  • Utilize story workshop practice.
  • Embolden dispositions and strengthen habits central to teacher research.

The AISA online Deep Dives are a balanced mix of Synchronous (interactive online learning involving external expert and peer to peer collaboration) and Asynchronous (distance, self-paced and peer-to-peer learning) learning facilitated over a period of 5 weeks.

1 Tue. 14 Sept. 2021 15:30 – 16:30 Introductory Meeting
2 Tue. 21 Sept. 2021 15:30 – 16:30 Interactive Workshop
3 Tue. 28 Sept. 2021 15:30 – 16:30 Interactive Workshop
4 Tue. 05 Oct. 2021 15:30 – 16:30 Interactive Workshop
5 Tue. 12 Oct. 2021 15:30 – 16:30 Summative Meeting


  • Matt Karlsen
    Center for Playful Inquiry

    I find joy and purpose in partnering with other educators to investigate their work with children in order to expand our imagination regarding new frontiers for how that work supports dignity and democracy. Over the last twenty-five years, my teacher-research journey has included work as a teacher and as a facilitator of professional development (including as Director of Opal School’s Center for Learning.)  I serve on the board of PILAglobal and hope you will join me in cultivating nests for displaced and vulnerable children.

  • Susan Harris MacKay
    Portland Children's Museum & Opal School
    Teacher, Author & Pedagogical Director

    Susan Harris MacKay has been a classroom teacher working with children ages 3 – 11 in public school settings as well as Pedagogical Director of Portland Children’s Museum and Opal School. Susan enjoys working with educators worldwide who wish to enrich their practice as teacher-researchers committed to strengthening relationships between play, beauty, and justice. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications in the fields of school leadership, classroom practice, and museum education. Susan is the author of Story Workshop: New Possibilities for Young Writers (Heinemann, 2021).

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