Storytelling school

Storytelling is a powerful tool for developing literacy | Featured Columnists

Most parents are aware of the importance of reading for their children and how reading aloud develops literacy skills, a positive attitude towards reading, and a love of books in their children. However, many are unaware of the power of oral storytelling in developing literacy skills. Here are some ways that storytelling benefits children’s education:

Storytelling develops literacy

Literacy development is not just about reading. This also includes writing skills. Listening and telling stories helps children see how a story develops, as well as its structure and sequence. They also learn the purpose and power of adjectives when describing story settings and actions. This knowledge bank connects the processes of reading and writing, and frequent opportunities to tell stories help children develop the language skills necessary for reading and writing.

Narration develops the structure of the story

When children listen to a new story being told, they find that all stories have a predictable structure and are created by people. They are exposed to new vocabulary, hear it used in different situations within stories, and through multiple exposures to the words, learn them on their own. Parents can tell both their own stories and those in the books to their children. Some parents aren’t good readers, and telling the story gives them the freedom to bring the story to life without needing to be perfect.

Storytelling develops a knowledge base

Contrary to popular belief, reading is not just the ability to decipher the words on a page. Reading forces the reader to interact with words and construct meaning. To be able to do this, the reader must have prior knowledge on which to base this interaction. Storytelling allows children to develop a base of knowledge that can be used as scaffolding to help them develop the complex skills that enable them to read.

Storytelling improves listening skills

Much of the instruction in schools is presented verbally and the development of strong listening skills is essential. Many children who have difficulty learning to read have poor listening skills. Storytelling allows children to practice these skills by engaging with both the storyteller and the story. Without the page to focus on and without images to support them, the listener must interact with the storyteller, visualize characters, settings, action and create mental images as they follow, feel and reflect on the message being told. They become more in tune with the spoken word and the story.

Children love to listen to stories because they create magic and a sense of wonder about the world for them. In addition, stories broaden children’s horizons by improving their cross-cultural understanding and communication and teach them about life, themselves and others. Through stories, children can explore their own cultural roots, experience diverse cultures, develop an understanding of different traditions and values, learn to empathize with unfamiliar people, places, and situations, and gain insight into universal life experiences. that show the commonalities of people around the world. world. Additionally, storytelling encourages the use of children’s imagination and creativity and increases their verbal, listening, reading and writing skills. So with all of these benefits, can you think of a good story to share with your family tonight?

Elizabeth Hamilton, M.Ed, MA, is a teacher with 32 years of professional experience. You can write to him at [email protected] with your questions or comments.