Monday, May 16, 2011


I saw a class advertised through a local community college's offering of summer education courses called: Storytelling 101.  I wanted in. The dates of the class conflict with our summer plans, so this momma won't be officially polishing my story telling skills as of yet. But, I did think that perhaps I could share a few ideas that I have picked up here and there which can make storytelling a helpful reading tool in your home.

Storytelling invites imagination. It focuses the attention. It engages the audience.  Any activity that invites, focuses and engages my children without them even knowing it, all the while they are entertained and absorbed in creativity, is something I want in my home often.

We story-tell by reading aloud chapter books. We ask questions. What might happen? What would you do? How would you feel if?   Both my husband and I muster up imaginative answers and encourage dialog while we all four lay in our big bed drawing the evening to a close through the pages of a books, often interrupted with  some good old fashioned wresting matches, before returning to  snuggling over a story. It is fantastic to hear the insight that children have on subjects. Even when Moose does not fully comprehend what is happening in the story he has an understanding of what he thinks is happening. And, he has thoughts and feelings about it to share! Right now we are reading a fantastic chapter book for our before bed snuggle time. It is called The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It is both story and graphic novel, with art work that my children stare at intently and find a real sense of knowing the story and its characters through. The art in this book makes the book a friend, and that is so powerful for children.

Other ways to story tell......

1. Sit your children in a cozy space, on the swingset, in the car and begin to tell them a tale you have made up on your own. 

2. Share stories of your childhood or moments of theirs in vivid story form. Kids love to hear stories about themselves. Provide little twists in the story and see if they catch on! 
3. Have someone in the family suggest a topic and take turns creating a story together. 
4. Listen to books on tape together. 
5. Create playscapes (let the kids go at it with shells, blocks, leafs, dolls, cars, anything they can get their hands on) and make up a story together as they go along. 
6. Play dress up and act out characters in your own story. 
7. Take advantage of dark rainy days by keeping lights low and the stories flowing. 
8. Ask those gifted in story telling to share their talent with your family. Invite grandparents or friends over who can story tell for an evening of entertainment. 
9. Make wild art, where there is no wrong way to create it, and come up with stories for each creation. 
10. Sit back,. Be quiet. Listen to your kids. They tell stories all day long. Let them know those stories matter and that you adore them.

The possibilities are endless. Relax, its story time. Doesn't that sound nice?

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