Jim Bruchac – Storyteller, Animal Tracker, and Beyond

During this program audiences will be treated to some of Jim’s favorite stories including various Native legends, Adirondack tall tales, animal interactions combined with some of his own often comical life experiences. Story lovers of all ages will be taken on a journey of discovery and laughter. (Grades 2 – Adult)

Author Residences & Workshops (Writing & Storytelling)

The focus of Jim Bruchac’s author visits can range from sharing a few stories from his books to comprehensive writing and storytelling workshops. During question and answer sessions Jim explains how growing up hearing Native legends from his father Joseph Bruchac and his real life experiences in the wildernesshis have influenced his storytelling and writing. During Writing Workshops, Jim helps students compose their own stories. Using his various books as examples, the most popular lesson choices include animal lesson stories (K – 3) and cautionary monster tales (4 – 12). For Grades K-2 Jim can create a group story complete with his own illustrations. Jim’s Storytelling Workshops (4-12) use highly interactive exercises to help students develop key storytelling techniques. In the context of longer residences students can not only create but share their own stories. Teacher oriented workshops are also available. (Grades 2 – 12)

Native American Storytelling Presentations

From animal lesson stories (Grades K – Adult) to trickster heroes & monster tales (Grades 3 – Adult) audiences of all ages will not only be amused, but learn valuable lessons as well. Since most of the stories Jim shares have been passed down from generation to generation they also serve as great windows into Native culture. During Native storytellings Jim may also include the use of Native Instruments such as drums, rattles and flutes encouraging students to sing along with various songs and chants. When requested Jim can also expand on any cultural and philosophical connections found within the stories and songs he presents. (Grades K – Adult)

 Wilderness Survival & Exploration

Participants will learn about such human necessities as protection from the elements, making fire, finding food and water. Jim also demonstrates how people past and present obtain resources from the wild. During hands-on, outdoor workshops students can learn key skills such as how to make a shelter, navigate, find water, food, make fire and avoid potential hazards like getting lost, injured, struck by lightning, drowned, or attacked by a wild animal. (Grades 5 – Adult)

 Animal Tracking & Animal Studies

Tracking can help students of all ages better understand the everyday life of animal. Starting with the very basic What’s That Track program (K – 12) to more indepth programs like Animal Studies (3 – 12), students will use plaster casts of various animal footprints to identify animal tracks. Students will also receive general information and lore about the animals that made them. (Grades 2 – Adult)

 Join Jim on his next Wilderness Adventure

Whether learning to survive or locate rare animal species in the Adirondack wilderness or track wolves and grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, Jim offers experiences to last a lifetime. People of all ages looking for an educational outdoor adventure can join Jim along with other wilderness experts such as Ivan Erchak, Dr. James Halfpenny, and Gary Marchuk during one of the many programs offered by the Ndakinna Education Center. (Adult)

Native American Culture and the Use of Natural Resources

Focusing on natural resources from plants, trees, rocks, animals, and water – to the soil beneath your feet – Jim provides physical evidence to show how Native Americans shaped these key resources into everything they needed to survive. Along with showing objects such as deerskin clothing, furs, a birch bark canoe, snowshoes, wampum, baskets and hunting tools, Jim also explains the ways this original reliance on the natural world helped shape the many Native legends, cultural values and social interactions that continue to this day. (Grades 2-Adult)

Field Trip to Visit Jim (at Ndakinna)

Schools, scout groups and all others within driving distance of Greenfield Center, New York, can visit Jim at his family founded Ndakinna Education Center & Nature Preserve. Housing all of his Native American exhibits with over 2,500 square feet of teaching space, the Education Center is surrounded by an 80-acre nature preserve. Half day to multiple day experiences offered. Visit for more information. (Grades 1 – Adult)