Monday, 2 February 2015

National Storytelling Week - UK

This week is the 15th annual National Storytelling Week in the UK running from 31st January until 7th February which also happens to be National Libraries Day :)

Why is storytelling so important that it deserves a whole week?

"Storytelling and reading aloud are powerful tools for a child's development, and for sparking a lifelong love of books:
  • Reading aloud is shown to be the most important thing you can do to help prepare a child for reading and learning
  • The more words a child hears spoken to them, the more words they learn
  • Reading aloud ... opens up new worlds to children and demonstrates the joy of reading."
Scholastic Books

There are a few literature-rich curricular from America that already know the benefits of reading aloud to children. Along with good quality children's literature from the last couple of centuries, many will recommend books of fairy tales, folk tales and other stories that originated from an older oral tradition.

Charlotte Mason was a British educator. Her method goes a step beyond reading aloud by encouraging narration, primarily to develop skills needed for composition writing. One means of narration can be as simple as a child retelling the main points of a story they have just heard, leading to a more in depth retelling by an older child, that in our house sometimes borders on a dramatic production. In this way, narration also develops and encourages the storytelling skills that people have enjoyed for millenia.

"The Boyhood of Raleigh" by John Everett Millais 1870
National Storytelling Week is a celebration of the oral tradition organised by the Society for Storytelling. You can find a list of events here.

If you're on twitter use #NationalStorytellingWeek to join the National Story Week conversation and #picturebookexplorers to share your stories of using Picture Book Explorers to encourage storytelling :)

Picture Book Explorers ~ Greyfriars Bobby would be a good fit for this week with its exploration of oral storytelling activity.

Encouraging storytelling through games:
ORT - Traditional Tales Story Game Flashcards
Letterland Make-a-story card game
Storyonics - Amazing Adventure Stories: 6- 106 years
The Creativity Hub Rory's Story Cubes

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