When I was 9 years old, I remember my grandfather telling me stories about his childhood. The master story-teller, always made his stories light-hearted and his characters full of life and vigor. I recollect being enthralled by his narration. A grand introduction, the protagonist with a great sense of humor and the ending was fireworks. Yes, that’s the only way I can describe it. Sudden, loud and beautiful. Amusing enough to knock off a flying bird.
Fast forward, until today I have fond memories of the place where we sat for our story telling, and the weather outside. Such is the magic of story telling. Stories are gifts for the heart, that unwrap themselves when we need them.
In a way, we are all here to tell our story. Isn’t it? From myths to reality, humans have always loved stories. If story telling is such an integral part of our life, then why isn’t it not happening with our children as much as it should be?
I had written a post earlier, about reading to your children. Please click here to read. However, story telling without any texts involved is equally important and fascinating.
Hence, my post today is focused on how we as parents, professionals or anyone could use story telling as a great way to connect to children. Everyone has their unique way of telling a story and you should have it. But there are certain aspects of story telling that is universal across all cultures, which can be adapted as a framework to our stories. The better stories, the better memories.
In fact , I use it a lot in my clinical practice. Getting a story sample is a great way to assess a child’s language. From the way a child starts narrating a story, detail of events and the ending gives a very comprehensive picture of their language.
Do they have difficulties with understanding concepts, expressing their views, proper usage of grammar etc are few things, you learn when you hear a story. Therefore, my goal here is to guide you through a set of rules you can keep in mind, when you are narrating that beautiful story of yours. Include them in your stories and you will see how children evolve and learn through story telling.
As I go through the steps, simultaneously I add my experiences in story telling with my daughter.
So, let’s tell our story. Adapted from Literacy based Speech and Language Therapy by Bilinguistics.
Additional tips :
- In this story, there are lots of key vocabulary that you can focus on. For e.g. long/tall/up/down/hug/jump/dance. This includes nouns, verbs and opposites. You can emphasize these words and make them sound animated for children to enjoy the process.
- Story- telling evolves and needs a lot of repetition. I know, you will get bored and sometimes you will have to do it 10 times or more. But the outcome is equally satisfying.
Hence, I proudly present to you Azah’s story after many nights of watching the moon and story-telling.
Azah see moon. In sky. Baba long ladder. Mountain up up up. Hi moon. Down down baba. Baba give moon. Azah, kiss moon, hug moon and throw moon. Moon up. Good night friend.
How amazing is her version of the story. I love it, because she has a beginning, middle and end to her story. We know that her language is evolving, she has understood the concepts and is using it functionally.
This is not another way, but a ‘better’ way to tell stories.
So, what’s your story?
Literacy- based Speech and Language Therapy Activities by Bilinguistics
Childhood Language Disorders by Rhea Paul.