From babyhood to the early teens, children love to hear a good story. This is one of those beautiful situations where what your children love is truly good for them. Children benefit a great deal from storytelling.
Without the use of books, telling stories takes on a different dimension. It offers a new way of looking at stories and is reminiscent of the old radio days, when families gathered around the radio to listen. But storytelling with a live human doing the telling can be quite compelling.
How, exactly, does storytelling benefit children?
They can develop:
An understanding of human nature.
An understanding of feelings.
An awareness of the role characteristics
An understanding of sequence.
Language skills (vocabulary, grammar, syntax and pronunciation).
Their ability to listen and concentrate
Their ability to follow instructions.
Their ability to co-operate with others
Here are two storytelling tips to help you with storytelling for children. The tips apply for bedtime kid’s stories and even for storytelling in the classroom.
1. The most important storytelling technique: look the child in the eyes.
When you are holding a book, you can’t fully engage the child as you are giving your focus to the words. Have you ever heard the sentence: “The eyes are the windows to the soul”? The eyes are also the window to the inner lives of children. You can see the excitement building in their eyes or maybe you’ll see confusion and know you have to take your story slower. In addition, children get to see your enthusiasm as they watch you tell
2. Use gestures freely.
When you are doing storytelling for children- remember that in their little minds, they often think the story is really happening! Use your whole body to tell stories! Remember, your voice is part of the storytelling process. Use a big voice to be a loud giant or a small, squeaky voice for little mice.
Depending on the contexts and characters of each story, teachers should use pictures and real objects, mime and gesture, different voices, loud or soft voice to make the story more attractive and vivid.
Storytelling is the good method to teach children. When I become a teacher of English, I will use this method to teach my students in many different ways depending on they are in primary school, secondary or high school.