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Storytelling and Literacy

  • 1.  Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-02-2019 07:05 PM

    A study from 2017 shows that strong oral storytelling skills in preschool lead to better reading scores for Black boys as they progress through elementary school, while for Black girls proficiency in oral storytelling in preschool has the strongest effect during their first years of school but is less important later on.

    The study, entitled "Different Tales: The Role of Gender in the Oral Narrative-Reading Link Among African American Children," was published in the journal Child Development.

    Do you use storytelling as part of your literacy program? Tell us how. 



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    Tonya Satchell
    Columbia MD
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  • 2.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-03-2019 02:28 PM
    Children (everyone) learns better when they are having fun. I tell my students stories and they tell me stories. Do you view plays as storytelling? I thought about having more plays at my center.

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    Sally Williams
    Director/Education Specialist
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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  • 3.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-03-2019 05:01 PM
    Hi Sally,
    I do view plays as one type of storytelling. I love hearing stories from the children. Sometimes we'd do a group story where one person would start it and then we'd each add a little piece to the plot. That was always fun!

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    Tonya Satchell
    Columbia MD
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  • 4.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-04-2019 10:35 AM
    Thanks for sharing! I find that children's engagement is different when I tell stories vs reading a book. It's more interactive, we throw in songs, and the children are developing their listening skills. I've also had great success using number stories with them; usually, after I model it, the children come up with their own! We ask "why" a lot, too. "Why did that caterpillar turn into a butterfly? "Why do you think?" These are the basis for many of the stories we know and love.

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    Amy Latta
    Lead NC PreK Teacher
    "All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost." --J.R.R. Tolkien
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  • 5.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-05-2019 04:30 PM
    Hi Amy. Children do develop listening skills with storytelling! I also love asking open-ended questions like the ones you described. Do you ever record or illustrate the stories in any way?

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    Tonya Satchell
    Columbia MD
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  • 6.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-05-2019 12:41 AM
    Hi Tonya,
    I like to use a lot of story telling in various ways. Much of it is based on the research done at Rice University. We "tell news," where each child dictates their news (based in reality) to the teacher, who writes it down verbatim weekly.

    We dramatize adult authored and child authored stories. In my class, the teacher sits with one child each day to write a story (often fiction, but sometimes non-fiction). After the story is written, the child selects a cast to dramatize their story during the next class gathering. Most of my students LOVE this.

    On a couple of occasions I've tried the class collaborating to write a story with each child telling a little bit of the story. I'm not sure if the group sizes were too big or if there wasn't much interest in it, but I haven't seen this type of collective story telling take off yet. I’m open to advice on how to facilitate this type of activity if anyone has some to share.

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    Erica Piper

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  • 7.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-05-2019 04:33 PM
    Hi Erica. Great idea! Funny story: many years ago, I used to have the children on Monday tell us their "news" (what happened over the weekend). One day a little boy told us that he went to the baseball game with his dad and his dad spilled beer on the son's head. And then the little boy said, "then dad poured water on my head so I didn't go home smelling like beer."  :) The lesson I learned that day is to be prepared for anything during News time!

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    Tonya Satchell
    Columbia MD
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  • 8.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-10-2019 12:03 AM
    That's a good one! Yes, I've been surprised by the news content too from time to time. There were some embarrassed or laughing parents out there.

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    Erica Piper

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  • 9.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-05-2019 12:06 PM
    One skill we are encouraging with our sites this year is Storymaking. This combines drama, art and music into one. The class or small group work as a group to plan, coordinate and present their own story. Props can be make and costumes created. Obviously, this is a long term project that will not be completed in a single day.
    Creativity and imagination are declining in children because they spend so much time sitting and listening to adults and being told what to do.

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    Christina Roseli
    ECLS
    El Dorado County Library
    Placerville CA
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  • 10.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-05-2019 04:37 PM
    Christina, The concept of Storymaking sounds great. I hadn't heard that term before but I just saw an interesting book about it by Michelle Kay Compton, Robin Chappele Thompson. I may pick it up to learn more! Thanks for sharing. 

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    Tonya Satchell
    Columbia MD
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  • 11.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-05-2019 04:46 PM
    ​NAEYC also has a great article online:
    Start StoryMaking to Join the Maker Movement

    :)

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    Christina Roseli
    ECLS
    El Dorado County Library
    Placerville CA
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  • 12.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-11-2019 08:16 PM
    I introduced Storymaking to my Language and Literacy students after reading the book by Michelle K. Compton and Robin Chappele Thompson this past spring. It really encourages creativity, the sequence of story and listening to each other - a great literacy and social skills builder.

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    Joyce Daniels
    Adjunct Instructor
    Sierra College
    Fair Oaks CA
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  • 13.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-13-2019 05:14 AM
    This is a very good idea, we do that too in my class.






  • 14.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-09-2019 07:47 PM
    Several years ago I discovered a storytelling approach with children that is based on Vivian Gussin Paley's The Boy Who Would be a Helicopter: Uses of Storytelling in the Classroom.  Here is a link to a website that describes the storytelling approach.
    https://www.makebelievearts.co.uk/helicopterstorieslettingimaginationfly

    In this straightforward method, a child dictates a story to a teacher, who writes down the story word for word. Once the story is told, the teacher reads it, making sure that the child's story has been recorded accurately. Later, the children gather around our stage marked by masking tape to see and hear the story acted out by volunteers. The author chooses whether or not to be
    in the play and decides which character he/she wants to be in the play. Without rehearsal, the teacher begins to read the story: as the story is told, children are invited to become princes, monsters, kittens, and even
    inanimate objects such as caves, castles, and playgrounds. The brief story is acted out, the audience claps and the class moves on to another child's story

    .  Part of the magic of this approach is due to the fact that children are the owners of thecontent, free to explore themes of power, friendship, tragedy all in ways that feel safe to them. Their questions, explorations, fears or sense ofadventure and hope are explored through the world of play. This storytelling curriculum is a blend of literacy practice, dramatic play, and
    involves the willingness to take risks.
    I would love to hear if anyone has used this approach with children.

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    Hilary Laing
    Teacher
    Orono Discovery Center
    Orono MN
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  • 15.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-10-2019 12:00 AM
    Hello Hilary,

    The child authored drama I described in an earlier post on this thread was referring to the same thing you are describing. Dr. Paley's approach is taught at Rice University (she used to teach there). I've received training at their day long conference and a week long summer course on this. The school where I teach has written child authored dramas for several years and the majority of kids look forward to it. It is a highlight of the day.

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    Erica Piper
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  • 16.  RE: Storytelling and Literacy

    Posted 07-11-2019 12:18 AM
    I recently wrote an article for the Oregon AEYC blog titled, "Once Upon a Time: Storytelling at the Heart of Early Literacy" that details part of our school's approach inspired by Waldorf-style puppet shows. Check it out if you're interested, and get in touch if you have any questions.

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    Stephen Karmol
    Executive Director
    Wild Lilac CDC
    Portland OR
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