Telling Stories

Telling and Retelling Stories Documentation abounds with the positive aspects of learning through storytelling.  Many education conferences have workshops on storytelling.  When children tell stories, they use words, remember sequences, and get to re-experience the event in their minds.  You can help children get into the habit of remembering and retelling stories by reminding them about things that happened.  If the children are very young, you can make the story yourself.  It can be simple, like, “We went to Miss Mary’s class.  We saw children and teachers. We ate together.  When we were leaving, Miss Mary said, “See you soon.”  Later that day, before dismissal, tell the story again, as close to the first time as you remember.  The next morning, tell it again.   Soon, the children will be telling you parts of it.  After a week, remind the children about the story again.  When I was a little girl, my grandfather (Poppy) took me on a crowded bus to see a relative.  He had just put the money in the coin box when suddenly the bus lurched forward.  My grandfather fell, and quickly got up again.  But, to me, it was scary to see an adult fall down.  My grandfather was not hurt, and told me he was fine.  I told everyone the story of Poppy falling on the bus for a very long time.  I would ask, “Remember when Poppy fell on the bus?”  My story was short, but important to me.  “I went on a big bus with Poppy. Poppy fell down.  He didn’t get hurt.”  Where we were going, what we did the rest of the day, how we got home, never made it into the story.  This is fine.  A child’s story is a child’s story.  After a while, children will need less and less help to make stories.  You can keep some index cards or a small notebook to write these stories.  Parents have been known to love these stories and cherish them.  Children Making Stories (With Your Help) You can ask some questions and have the children make the story. Teacher: Where did we go today?  Child: Miss Mary. Teacher: What did we do there? Child: Ate Child: Sing Teacher:  What did we eat? Child: Cookies Teacher: Did we drink? Child: Yes.  Juice. Teacher: Good. Then what happened? Child: She said “See you soon.” Child: We commed back. Teacher:  Yes, we had a nice visit to Miss Mary’s class.  Let’s make it into a story.             We went to Miss Mary’s room today.  We sang a song.  We all had juice and crackers. When we were leaving, Miss Mary said “See you soon”. We came back to our classroom.  Note: It is perfectly appropriate to change some of the words to reflect use of standard English.  This is not an experience chart or a dictation where teachers write every word exactly as spoken. This is a summary of what happened, with contributions from some of the adults and children of the group. If you like, you can write the story on chart paper and read it with the children.  And it's also fine if you "just" tell it.  That's what humans have done for thousands of years in all parts of the world.

Leave a Reply