There’s an innovative program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Center on Age and Community for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s called TimeSlips. Begun in 1996 by Anne Basting, the program uses improvisation and storytelling to help people express themselves and connect with others.
The website says, “TimeSlips opens storytelling to everyone by replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.” It seems to me that all sorts of storytellers, writers and educators would benefit from their methods and creative storytelling prompts.
You can try it out on their website. First you choose an image and prompt and then tell or write. Here are a few examples:
You can read some of the stories, from short phrases to elaborate and funny poems to disturbing interpretations, at the “browse stories” tab.
They offer training for individuals, classrooms and organizations and you can apply for certification as a TimeSlips Trainer. And they have great pictures on their website: