The Art of Story Telling to kids
Story telling is the art of sharing stories. Reynolds Price, a famous American poet, novelist, & dramatist once said:
“A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens – second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter.”
That’s how important stories are in our lives. People make it interesting by making improvisations in the narrative and often include theatrics to make the session impactful and remarkable.
It wont be an exaggeration to say that all of us have been closely affiliated to stories and the pleasure & warmth associated with them. Our journey with stories starts from the innumerable stories we listen to from our grandparents and parents, aunts and uncles in our growing up years. In fact, for centuries folklores and mythological stories have passed from one generation to another through the medium of storytelling. Then we move on to the books and use them to read stories and then share those with our friends and peers. Infact if we realise, we love having conversations which are intertwined with stories and often call people who have this art of natural story telling as impactful speakers and leaders.
In the contemporary world today story telling has evolved further using modern tools like digital platforms that promote interactive storytelling especially amongst children as well as web-based documentaries that pass on valuable information about a topic to the audience. What is noteworthy is that it is the storyteller who must work towards catching the audience’s fascination. Impactful story tellers believe that knowledge of the said subject is important for the storyteller to make an impact.
A great story is marked by the following features: –
- Having a definitive purpose to be able to make the desired impact on the audience.
- A tight structure, an effortless flow of events and great precision to make it appealing.
- Feature characters that people can identify with and vouch for.
- Stories need to land much below the outer senses. The stories that touch your inner core are the ones that are most remembered.
- Impressive stories should be able to challenge the mental faculties of the audience.
- Simplicity, Universality & relatability are few other characters that makes the stories unforgettable experiences.
Story telling as a tool for teaching life skills to kids
In modern times, this art of storytelling is becoming rapidly popular amongst parents and the teaching fraternity to deliver key learnings to their children and the younger audience. Modern education systems across the world are slowly realising the latent potential and effectiveness of this art in delivering life skills to the young minds that are still in the phase of development.
The innocent and ingenious minds of kids love hearing stories. But besides feeding their minds with creative powers, storytelling is becoming a handy tool to impart learnings and skills to the younger generation. This is how storytelling can help children learn and inculcate important and necessary skills that help them grow up to be practical and mature individuals, ready to take on the world.
- Through effective storytelling kids can come face-to-face with their traditions and cultures. This medium of stories becomes a very effective way of implanting the essence of moral values like empathy, honesty, and integrity of character. Through various characters of these stories kids get to learn about the usefulness of life skills like decision making, critical thinking, problem solving, self-control and interpersonal skills.
- Through vivid stories children are also exposed to other cultures and their traditions helping them gradually to become responsible global citizens of the world.
- Effective storytelling has the power to encourage kids to open and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings upfront with others. They also learn the use of right kind of verbal and non-verbal communication. As they express their ideas, they get proficient in the use of verbal communication effectively.
- Storytelling also helps students and kids understand the value of listening skills and how it is important to respect each other’s thoughts and ideas, empathise with others and work collaboratively as a team for best results.
- Students and children get acquainted with factors that affect teamwork and how cooperation can help achieve desired result vis-a-vis infighting and negativity.
- Many a times it has also been noticed that as a story is narrated to children, they come up with their own interpretations and explanations of situations and the characters. This aspect points to the fact that when the medium of storytelling is appropriately used, children are motivated to use their imaginations and creativity thoroughly.
Undoubtedly storytelling sessions with kids are marked by the display of a myriad of emotions, opinions, squeals of laughter and joy, and at times moments of sadness and loss. It completely depends on how well the narrator can keep the kids grounded and grasp them in his narrative.
You may want to read about 6 rules of great story telling as told by Pixar here
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