"Once there was a Cockroach, he lived in the kitchen, and he ate food from the dustbin. One day mummy saw it running on the floor, she picked up the broom and hit it hard. Story finish."
Does it sound weird? Well, that is my little one honing her storytelling skills, with both her parents as her audience.
Story telling is an art that has mental, social, educational and moral benefits for children. People of all ages love stories. Children are great admirers of stories and love to listen to them. We all enjoy a good story, whether it's a novel, a movie, or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us. But have you ever thought, why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?
How does Storytelling help?
- Stories help us (adults) teach lessons. It is like taking medicine with sugar, they help in making life lessons, morals, explanations, and even sad events more easily relevant to children (and also adults). A classic example of this is the 'Hare and the tortoise' story. We must have heard countless versions of this from nearly every culture. If you explain to the little ones that "Slow and steady wins the race" they may not be able to comprehend the moral value of it. But by giving them a story to help illustrate the whys of it helps the lesson remains with them for a long time to come.
- Historically speaking, stories were the only technique of passing along oral traditions and history to the coming generations. There were no books, blogs, iPads, Kindles or televisions. There were adults, with experiences to be shared, and there were children, with experiences to be taught It is about being in touch with cultural/religious roots. In between all the fairy tales and moral stories, I make sure that Anaya gets her dose of Bible stories too. I do this, to make her aware of the rich cultural heritage of the state, country and religion, and also to develop in her a love for learning our history.
- Stories entertain children. They enjoy them. We all enjoy a good story; it brings us out of our present and lets us bask in the imaginary world. Children enjoy hearing about anything. Their minds are still far more open and easily enchanted with magic and mystique than most adults. Stories are fodder for their imaginations to reflect on and then grasp into whole new stories and ideas.
- Stories offer adults with an opportunity to share their feelings, thoughts, and knowledge with the new generation. Stories from their grandparent's youth fascinate children and become cherished and precious memories when the years pass. Stories give adults an outlets to express themselves in the carefree, joyful language that we sometimes lose as we age.
- Stories help introduces new vocabulary to children. A big advantage of storytelling is that listening to stories enhances a child's vocabulary.
- Stories help enhances listening skills of children. Storytelling encourages and enhances the listening skills of children. Usually, children like to talk more rather than listen and this behavior is evident especially in classrooms, they are usually not good listeners. But when the habit of listening to stories is inculcated in them, they learn to become better listeners. This provides them the necessary training to listen and understand more, instead of talking.
- Storytelling is a great activity of learning. Storytelling is an interactive activity. As a story progresses and develops, children ask questions. This proves to be a great learning activity. We should use ways to make a child curious and encourage them to ask questions because this makes the child think. They learn to associate images in the book with the story and this develops their visualization capacity and imagination.
Different types of Stories:
Myths/ Mythology/ Religious tales are legendary stories that ancient people created to explain the mysteries of life, death, the beginning of the world, and natural powers. Since myths are imaginary stories, they have imaginary characters in them like dragons, monsters, fairies, giants, and gods. All these characters had magical powers and were much more powerful than human beings.
A fable is a short tale which involves animals as essential characters in it and carries a moral for the readers. Aesop's Fables and Panchatantra Tales are very good examples. The lessons imparted by fables are very useful and practicable. Fables are a good source of wisdom, tact, and other noble means. They help us on the road to success and well-being if their morals are translated into daily life.
Folk-tales are usually light imaginary stories handed down orally from generation to generation. They are popular because they describe the hopes and fears of common people in a natural fanciful way. Almost every social group has its own folk-lore traditions and beliefs. A social group's folk-tales are based on these traditions and beliefs, therefore, folk-tales are very near to day-to-day life.
Fairy-tales are magical stories about fairies. A fairy is a tiny imaginary being with supernatural powers. Fairyland is considered to be a land of lakes, lush green meadows, bright flowers, and fruit trees. Children enjoy fairy-tales very much because of the enchantment and magical power such stories hold.
5. Nursery Rhymes:
We often view nursery rhymes as having rhyme and rhythm that can be sung. A few have melody; some have hand movements or a dance. What we often overlook is the fact that these rhymes are hundreds of years old. Many have a hidden political meaning as they were a way of passing gossip about the king and his court in the days before newspapers. Most people do not realize this while saying or teaching the rhymes for children. However, this happens to be an interesting aspect of history.
6. Personal Stories:
We can narrate incidents and past happenings from our life. When we share anecdotes from our school or college life; or incidents, during the important happenings in our lives.
Stories are a very crucial aspect of your child's development. Do not let your child miss this simple yet extremely important part of childhood. Help them weave beautiful memories, not just of the stories you share, but also of the time you spend telling them those wonderful stories. Happy storytelling!!!
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