Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Telling stories to children helps them to be ready to learn to read at school. Children need lots of experience listening to stories of many different varieties. Stories can be made up or true. They can be written down to told orally. Either way, they are a valuable component of early literacy development. They help children learn to:

- concentrate and focus their attention
- make predictions and comparisons - how does this story compare to other stories your child has heard or their real life experiences?
- use their imagination - they may need to picture the story in their mind if there are no props
- recognize new words - build vocabulary

Here are some tips you can use to keep your child's interest while you're reading:

- be enthusiastic
- use facial expressions
- give voices to characters
- change the tone in your voice (quiet, loud)
- use gestures
- add dramatic sounds ("and the door shut, BANG!"
- pause for effect
- ask your child to help you tell the story by filling in spots or making sounds
- add a surpirse to the ending
- keep it short
- make the story about your child or something they are interested in

Here is the story of The Gingerbread Boy. It is a perfect story for oral storytelling!

SOURCE: Macaulay Child Development Centre, Lullabies to Literacy

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