Creative Beginnings: Storytelling

Residency Overview: The Creative Beginnings Storytelling residency introduces the art and joy of storytelling to young children. Participating teachers will come to understand how storytelling broadens our awareness of other cultures and gives us a deeper understanding of our own. Storytelling encourages the same skills that children will need when they begin reading. Through storytelling, children learn that reading is engaging and fun and can transport them to different worlds. Storytelling teaches that stories follow a logical sequence of events, and have a beginning, middle, and end. By learning the story elements as pre-readers, children are able to predict events in stories when they are reading on their own. Storytelling also enhances the emotional bond between the teller and the child.

Arts Objectives Include:

  • Broaden awareness of other cultures and gain a deeper understanding of our own.
  • Experience the joy of storytelling.
  • Use of facial expression, tone of voice and body movements to nonverbally communicate story
  • Use of chant and rhyme to communicate story

Curriculum Connections Include:

  • Stories can be chosen and adapted to support learning in social studies, science and math areas
  • Stories about friendship, helping, and problem solving work well for preschool
  • Supports pre-literacy and linguistic development
  • Promotes both self regulation and teamwork

Sample Student Activities:

  • Children sing along with the story
  • Children repeat rhymes, chants and body percussion during the story
  • Children move, dance and act out parts of the story
  • Children improvise short dialogues
  • Children create visual representation of story characters or plot after hearing the story

Sample Professional Development Activities:

  • Read several stories and choose one based on cultural relevance, or connection to curriculum
  • Draw a story map of the story
  • Use gesture and voice to create the mood and enhance the telling of the story.
  • Create the persona of a single character
  • Practice telling story
  • Create opening chant, rhyme or ritual to begin storytelling sessions

Facilitator’s Notes

Storytelling is terrific for circle time as well as nap times and transition times. Limit distractions so the child can tune into you and your story. Be sure to learn the plot of the story ahead of time so that you can tell your story without referring to any text. Let your imagination create voices, sounds, chants, and rhymes for your story. Storytelling needs little or no materials. It is most effective when the teller is focusing on connecting with the listeners. In fact, props and puppets often complicate this simple folk art. In this art form, less is more!

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