Start Telling Your First Story Today

So what if you’ve never told a story before; that is not a good reason to avoid telling stories to your children. Read on for tips to help kick-start your story telling journey. You won’t regret it!

Choosing a Story

Always pick a story that doesn’t have too many characters and twists to the plot. Folktales are usually a safe choice. They were created to be told and not read. Stories that you are familiar with are also good for a start.

Learning the Story

You need to learn the main points of the story, the structure and plot. Do not memorise it word for word.

Different people learn in different ways. Find out what works best for you. You could:

  • Read your story over and over again.
  • Record it on an audio or video recorder so that you can listen to it or watch it until you know it by heart.
  • Draw a map (stick figures will do) of the main events of the story.
  • Write a brief outline of the story or main points. Don’t write it in full.

Telling the Story

  • Tell the story in your own words. Memorise only key phrases for effect.
  • Be yourself. There isn’t one best way to tell stories.
  • If gestures come naturally to you, use them. If not, just tell the stories in the most comfortable way for you.
  • Don’t worry if you make mistakes. Even professional storytellers make mistakes. What is most important is how you recover from the mistakes.

Recovering From Mistakes

To recover from a mistake, you can try saying either one of these:

  • “What you don’t know aboutcharacter’s name is (insert the info you left out).”
  • “Ahh, but what I haven’t told you is(insert info you left out).
  • “Whoops, I forgot to tell you that(insert info you left out).

If your children can see you making a mistake and then getting over it quickly and easily, it will show them that it is all right to make mistakes. This is an invaluable life lesson and can help speed up their learning of the language.

Source: Edited from “Storytelling Tips” by Asian Storytelling Network and “Telling Stories To Children” by Sheila Wee in the Society For Reading and Literacy News Magazine

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