Making Stories Exciting!
Friday 9th August 2019
Guest blog by Jo Meakin, Childcare Expo Ambassador, Early Years Consultant and teacher.
Story telling dates back to the early ages. Wise people would share their knowledge and experiences through stories. Younger members of the community would listen in awe. Story telling is a foundation block of learning within the early years, linking up all areas of the curriculum.
Telling stories and reading books are two completely different things. Anyone can read a book, as long as they are literate, and it is in a language they understand. Not everyone can tell a story. Telling stories requires the narrator to bring the characters alive. Children should feel that this is the first time you told that story even if it’s the 1000th time you’ve read it. So how do you make stories exciting for you and for the listeners.
Here are a few ways in which to engage your young audience.
Firstly, make the story exciting! Children need to want to listen to your story. If you are bored of reading the same story book over and over again, then your listeners will be to.
Don’t just read the words out loud, act them. Become the characters. Add intrigue, excitement and tension. Even if the children know the ending to the story, adding intrigue and tension may convince the children they don’t know what happens. Who says you can’t make up a new ending for the story! If you are enjoying the story more, so will the children be.
Next, why not add props to your story. As the narrator. You can hand out parts for the children to take on. This could be using puppets, masks, story spoons, story stones or even just using their imagination. If children feel part of the story. They will be much more engaged and motivated to learn. This will cut down on children fidgeting during story time and children will learn a lot more by being involved.
Finally, why not make up your own stories. Children have the most amazing imaginations. Why not use them. You can prompt their stories using props. However, this will limit the imagination using your parameters. For a story to be truly a child’s own words, allow them to direct it fully. This does take time and support, but eventually your role will only to be a scribe for the story to be read back at a later date. Where will the children’s imagination take you? All the great authors started somewhere. If they had their imagination reigned in at an early age would we have such classic characters as Harry Potter, Moonface, Mr Stink or the BFG? You may have the next David Walliams in your nursery. Embrace them, don’t quash them.