We all love listening to stories, and always remember that one special story that has left a deep impact on our minds. You probably have favorite stories of your own. Maybe they’re stories about your family that you hear from your grandparents. Maybe they’re books you’ve read over and over yet they bring a smile to your face every time.
A good story can convey a message; make us laugh or cry while sending across the underlined message which is conveyed in it. Stories are powerful tools especially while dealing with little children. They can teach morals; sometimes history and most of the time purely entertain us. Telling stories is a large part of what makes people connected to each other. I have realized the importance of the Art of storytelling in my 25 years of teaching preschoolers.
Ten things you should remember while telling a story
- Your audience – When you are dealing with very small children, keep in mind their attention span. They cannot sit longer than ten minutes listening to you. So keep it brief and interesting.
- Set the mood – Announce that you are going to tell a story, just picking up a book and starting off is totally not accepted by small kids. They need to prepare themselves too to listen to you.
- Be spontaneous and creative – You can waver off the topic a bit to stress on certain vocabulary words and make children understand a certain part. For instance- Cinderella castle, so you could explain the grandeur and vastness of a castle in your story.
- Stress on punch lines – These are the magical lines that uplift the mood and get even the shy children to participate with you. Eg- Huff and I will puff and I will blow your house down.
- Voice modulation – Storytelling is more than just reading the words of a story out loud. It takes other skills as well. It is important to be able to use different tones in your voice when you are telling a story. If your voice stays at the same level, it is very boring!
- Eye contact – Very important to make eye contact with your audience, this is the best way to connect and show your genuine efforts while narrating a story.
- Enjoy the process – If you not in the mood for telling a story, don’t do it. A bad story told will not be enjoyed by you or your audience.
- Make it Interactive- Don’t forget that your body and your voice are important tools to help tell your story. Use your body and hands to to emote and express. You can even walk or pace up and down the room, pause at an important turn of events during the tale.
- Use Props and teaching aids- Finger/ stick/ hand puppets could be used to narrate a story. Books with large illustrations are a safe bet.
- End well and ask for feedback- When the story is over, make sure you end it; don’t just trail off. Leave them wanting for more. Make it clear with your voice or movements or expression that your story is over and smiles at the end, no matter what the end is. That leaves the audience feeling that the story was satisfying and you enjoyed telling it to them.