Telling (not reading) Stories – part 1

You don’t need a book to tell stories.  Story telling happens in all cultures, and has been going on far longer than the written word.  Any time you describe something that happened already, you are telling the story of what happened.  The more you do it, the easier it gets.  The first stories can be 1 statement.  We ate lunch.

Then add to it.  What did we eat?  “Pittr buttr”, which was how my second one said peanut butter.  What else did we eat? Apple.  Did we have anything to drink?  Milk.

Here’s the new story.  We ate lunch. We had peanut butter sandwiches. We drank milk.  We cut up an apple and had it for dessert.

It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

Do you want to tell the lunch story again?  Each time, you and the child/ren can add things – We were hungry. We wanted something that we could eat quickly.  We looked in the pantry.  (What did we find?) We found a jar of peanut butter.  We got a knife (where was it?) from the drawer.  We got bread from the counter (or refrigerator, or bread box).  We got plates.  (What did we put on the plates?) We put a slice of bread on each plate.  We used the knife to spread the peanut butter on the bread. We put another slice of bread on the top. We took out glasses…

You get it. This can take longer than the original lunch.  But as you add details, the child remembers and helps you add some more details.  And as you retell the story, the idea of order – what came first enters in to it as well.  There are many lesson plans on how to teach sequencing, but when children are in the habit of thinking about what came first, and then, and then, sequencing is not hard for them.

The idea is that any experience, when remembered, is a story.  Stories help review things that happened. Help remember how problems were solved like how the child/ren helped find something important. Help remember how upset/sad/angry they were and how it worked out.  And help children learn to make their own stories.