Activity: Storytelling

There are many benefits to learning the art of storytelling. And storytelling is one of those “soft skills” our children will want to take with them into life. Here are 4 ways to develop the skill of storytelling.

To be able to tell a story effectively is to possess the art to entertain, the power to shape the thoughts and to stir the hearts of men.

Live Language Lessons

There are those who are more naturally bent toward telling stories. However, it is a skill that anyone can learn and develop.

How to Develop the Skill of Storytelling

Study the Works of Master Storytellers

It starts by studying the works of the master storytellers. Think about the tales we have all grown up with: nursery rhymes, fables, fairy tales, and folk tales are part of our common culture.

  1. Choose a story to relate orally. You’ll find suggestions below.
  2. Have your student reread the story repeatedly until it is very clear in his mind.
  3. It doesn’t have to be memorized exactly. In fact, it is our own personalities that make storytelling interesting.
  4. Ask your student to tell the story to others.

If the exercise above sounds similar to narration, you are correct! One of the benefits of narrating is developing the art of storytelling.

Copy Noted Authors

Noted authors are another source of content for narrating. It is best to have the student read these aloud. Obviously they will not be able to memorize the content exactly. Their narrations are really simply telling the story of the author.

Bring On the Excitement

Finally, there are those stories of our everyday lives that we choose to share. In some ways, these are the easiest stories to tell with the emotion and excitement warranted by the event.

…[T]he hearers were not there and it is the business of the story-teller, or his art if you please, to take them “there.”

Live Language Lessons

For these exercises it will help if the student chooses an event that was exceptionally exciting or thrilling.

  • Did he or she ever have a scare or a narrow escape?
  • Was there an occasion so hilarious tears run from the eyes just to think about it?
  • Was there an unexpected circumstance?
  • Or an odd visit?

Have your child see the scene clearly in his mind. Ask him to narrate the event out loud to help organize his thoughts. Then encourage him to try again working to convey the excitement he felt at the time so that the listener feels it, too.

Be a Storyteller

Of course, one of the best ways to teach a skill is by using it yourself!

  • Have storytelling conversations around the dinner table.
  • Practice the art of storytelling as you read aloud to your children.
  • Relate news stories in an appropriately exciting way.
  • Try a fairy tale or two where it is easy to express the excitement of the story.

All the better to eat you with, my dear!

Little Red Riding Hood

Additional Resources
From Playpen to Podium

From Playpen to Podium by Myers
A perfect communicating manual! Focuses on developing storytelling and speaking skills broken down by ages from infant to adolescent. Highly recommended!

The Art of Storytelling
Interesting ideas at that can easily be modified to fit your family.

Practice Storytelling With Your Kids At Dinnertime
Help from Scholastic for those stuck.

Storytelling for Kids
Tips at Great Wolf Lodge for improving your read-aloud skills!

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