Three tips for a great storytelling
Can you remember your favourite children’s story from childhood? How many times did you stay awake and wait for your parents to fall asleep just so you could go on with reading your favourite fairy tale? Take a better look at your book shelves. Your favourite childhood book is definitely hidden somewhere out there. It is perhaps a bit dusty and shows signs of wear, but it still keeps the magic of storytelling and the voice of your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather…
Children have an innate affection for stories. The stories facilitate magic and the sense of wonder, giving the children an access point into unknown and mysterious landscapes. The child will not only learn to acquire new words with greater ease, empower its linguistic skills, extends its knowledge, but also learn and perceive the mistake that the Little Red Riding Hood made only once. The children will learn to listen to their parents and follow up on their advice. The act of telling stories that have a clear and meaningful message can help them learn and differentiate qualities such as wisdom, courage, honesty and kindness.
What does a story have to offer?
The act of storytelling not only serves as incentive for development of speech among children of youngest age but also increases the child’s capacity for observation, memory, thinking and deductive skills.The child learns to differentiate between good and evil or a desired way of acting in comparison to the undesired ones, first through characters of animals, events in its surroundings and different objects that pop out from colouring books. The child that has had contact with the story will show higher interest for uncovering new stories about the world that surrounds it by the time it starts to attend the lower grades of elementary education.
The stories reveal universal truth about the world – they teach us about life, about ourselves and others.
The stories can allow children to explore their own cultural roots, experience different cultures and gain insight into different traditions and values. Stories and storytelling enable children to develop empathy with unknown people, places and situations.
The advantages of storytelling in the classroom
The act of reading and storytelling is very important for establishing two-way communication between the teacher and students in the classroom, as well as between parents and children outside of the classroom. The kind of linguistic expression they are taught in the classroom is the tool through which they can formulate their thoughts and emotions.It is more than just mere exchange of information and proliferation of ideas, it is their means to reach out and connect with other people.
The stories can become connections not only between the world of the classroom and household (family), but also between the classroom and wider fields of use (world in general).
The child feels connected with the person that is telling the story. It is therefore very important for the teachers to understand the need to promote the feeling of wellbeing and relaxation and thus increase the readiness of children to communicate, to express their thoughts and feelings, to incite active involvement of children, accentuate use of imagination and creativity. It is especially important to encourage children to cooperate and develop good relationships, filled with understanding and respect.
Fairy tales are the most interesting way for teachers to tell stories, because children learn from those characters about the complex relationships between people, with different emotions and remote imaginary places.
Three tips for a great storytelling
- While storytelling, use your face, body and corresponding gestures. It is very important to make your body and your face react to story and to express yourself clearly.
- It is also crucial to adjust the tone, pitch and tempo of your voice. In fact, it is useful to achieve an active contact with your child, and by doing so you will create a charismatic presence and make your child believe you.
- It is necessary to pay attention to the use of space in which you tell a story. Use silence and pause in order to add a dramatic effect to storytelling and mesmerize your public completely.