Sarah’s Story Stones can be used at home or in the classroom to engage young children in the art of storytelling. Storytelling in a group setting can promote a child’s oral language skills, creativity and cooperation.
Sarah’s Story Stones recently hosted a storytelling circle with some preschool friends. We tried out The Progressive Storytelling and The Beginning, Middle and End story game. During the progressive session, each of the three children were invited to choose five stones. Each child chose one stone at a time in a circle. We started the game by allowing the oldest child to start the story using either some or all of their stones. From there the next child continued, using characters from the previous player and their own set, and so on. Sometimes the children’s stories were reiterated by the adult facilitator so as to clarify story elements to the other children. During this process the children were encouraged to employ active listening, turn taking and improvisation.
Writers Speak to the Importance of Storytelling
“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”
– J.K. Rowling
“The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.”
–Mary Catherine Bateson
Storytelling and Early Childhood Education
“In particular, a growing body of research has argued convincingly that children’s acquisition of certain oral-language skills in their preschool years, including narrative skills, is an important foundation of emergent literacy and long-term school success.”
Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Griffin, Hemphill, Camp, & Wolf, 2004; Kendeou, van den Broek, White, & Lynch, 2009; Lynch et al., 2008; Reese, Suggate, Long, & Schaughency, 2010).
“Contextual learning involves making concepts and ideas relevant to young children by placing them within a context, such as a story. Stories are important vehicles for engaging young students. Stories with visual support can create a “comfort zone” for children – an environment that allows them to openly explore their thinking within familiar settings.” http://images.pearsonclinical.com/images/ECSIMarch2013/PDFs/Murphy_Power%20of%20Visual%20Learning%20handout.pdf