Effective Storytelling Techniques Primary Teachers Should Learn
What Storytelling Techniques Can be Applied in the Classroom
The art of storytelling has been around for centuries—way before people started publishing books.Today, the power of storytelling is turned into an effective classroom strategy that livens up a dull topic, delivers important life lessons, and serves as a break from the usual classroom routine.
Teachers help children love reading by immersing them into a realm of fantasy and magic. Below are several benefits of storytelling to children:
- Enhances verbal Skills
- Improves imagination
- Develops reflective skills
- Boosts logical thinking
- Improves listening skills
Not all teachers are born with a gift for storytelling, but with constant practice and a few key strategies, you will be able to deliver a great story.
- Select the right story.
When picking a story, there are several things that you need to consider.
- Language and vocabulary
- The students’ level of language
Little children like books that feature monsters and animals, so choose books like The Ugly Duckling or The Lion and The Mouse.
- Facial expression is the key.
Use facial expression to indicate excitement, fright, shock, sadness, or whatever feeling you are trying to convey. Stand in front of a mirror, and experiment with varying facial expressions for the storytelling activity. Eye contact is also important as it creates a feeling of trustworthiness and connection. So make an eye contact with your kids at interval parts of the story.
- Use props.
Storytelling for kids can be a combination of puppetry, drama, comedy, and music. Choose props that can be brought out at the right time during the storytelling session. You can use hats or wigs to represent different characters. Puppets and dolls also make great props for retelling simple stories. Sound effects, when used at the right time, could add a sense of suspense, danger, or happiness.
- Vary your volume, tone, and speed.
Kids like it when the storyteller uses different vocal sounds for different characters. So, experiment with soft and loud, high and low, squeaky and clear voices, to give the story a more realistic feel. For example, a squeaky voice can represent an old woman, while loud and high-pitched voice to characterize a young girl. This storytelling strategy will help children recognize and imagine each character easily.
- Ask questions.
Engage your students in an interactive storytelling. As the story progresses, ask open-ended questions. This encourages your students to pay attention. It is also an excellent way for you to gauge how well your students are grasping the story. Give your students a few minutes to reflect and process all the information. Then, take the time to talk to your students about their feelings, their favorite part of the story, or which among the characters is their favorite.
- Repeat the story.
Young kids love repetition. Retell a story, and ask your students to pitch in. Children need to sharpen their memory and learn how to narrate a story on their own. Retelling a story also improves important life skills, such as oral communication and listening.