What is storytelling?  Oral story telling involves telling a story from memory without reading a book or a written script.  The story may vary from each telling depending on the audience.   While we know that reading is very important to children’s development, telling stories to your children has a lot of benefits too.  Studies have shown that storytelling enhance the individual’s social and emotional, cognitive and language skills.  Because there are no pictures, children must use their imaginations to imagine what is happening in the story.  Oral storytelling  also provides opportunities for you to share cultural folktales, exchange narratives between you and your child, create new stories and a bonding environment.   Do you remember any stories from your childhood and how you were feeling when you were listening to those stories?  What kind of connections did you make with the stories and the storyteller?

Here are just some tips on oral storytelling:

  • use eye contact to capture your child’s attention
  • use gestures (body language), intonation, and facial expressions
  • engage your child in the story by asking him/her – what is happening in the story, how do you think the character is feeling
  • ask them to contribute ideas to the story by asking them what do you think is going to happen?

Click here to listen to a story

Try retelling the story.  What other details would you like to add to the story?