Encouraging Storytelling

TalkFor Parents: Raising Readers

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Encouraging Storytelling

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Aug 31, 2007, 9:58am

My daughter spent all day yesterday writing up a story for her to tell at bedtime to her younger siblings, and I got to thinking about how we encourage storytelling and what can be done to encourage kids to not just read but write and tell stories.

I think one of the best things we've done is to have a couple of series of somewhat formulaic tales we tell. The best example is probably the Arabian Nights, where last year I re-read a bunch of them and then started a series of tales drawn from them (editing out the naughty bits, of course), all with the same formula of leaving them hanging at the end of one story with the beginnings of the next days story. It's led to Shahryzad cutting a big figure around our place, and encouraged them to work on the continuations to stories themselves.

But how do others encourage storytelling?

Sep 4, 2007, 8:01pm

In dull moments, we write books. Very small books. See http://www.makingbooks.com/hotdog.shtml for a way of turning a piece of paper (it only has to be blank on one side) into a tiny little book.

Sep 9, 2007, 10:02pm

I'd never really thought of it before. My oldest just creates stories whenever they come to his mind...usually several times a day. He loves to write books and illustrate them. The gimme answer, of course, is that we listen to him. But I guess for a practical answer I'd say we buy him a lot of notebooks. When the school year starts we buy him those 10 for a $1 packs from Target. If notebooks were the only thing he got for Christmas and his birthday he might consider himself extremely blessed. :-)

Dec 16, 2007, 12:33am

My son and I lay down before bedtime about three nights per week. I usually stay with him for 15-20 minutes and often this is our time to talk. Sometimes I make up a story, sometimes he does. We have another game we play where I start a story and then tell him to pick up where I left off or to fill in any word. It is really fun to see his imagination go.