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Storytelling with kids: the lion & the mouse & a what?

12.5.15
"Oral storytelling is an ancient tradition and the most personal and intimate form of storytelling."
~ wikipedia.

Ask the kids, "did you read any books today?", and the answer will likely be "no" (at least) most of the time. That's because Oral-storytelling happens frequently around here. A few weeks ago, I began to gradually encourage the kids  and got them involved in storytelling. If I can find the right props translation, if it's exciting enough, they jump all over it. 
Our latest story is one of Aesop's Tales: The Lion and the Mouse OR in our case, The Lion & the Mouse AND a Cheetah too.

How did we go about telling our story? 

We focused on:

Let it Flow
Is there a right way to tell a story? Well, it depends who you ask of course. With small children, oral-storytelling is perfect because the kids get to make the rules...awesome right?
So when we got our props together...lion, mouse...net and a CHEETAH? Yes, my 18 month old decided that our story included a cheetah...ok, so be it! 
Child-hood is the only time that you can just spend your days making up stories...I think...
Reasoning 
Stories that teach kids about life are perfect for oral-storytelling. This is particularly true of my little guys and gals, due to their ages, maturity levels and reasoning abilities. While listening I could see that the kids were curious, about what was happening and of course what next? 
For example, when I asked the preschoolers, "do you think the mouse could EVER help the lion"?, it seemed obvious. Without a thought, they agreed he would not be able to help the lion. 
They couldn't see how it would be possible; and as one child said, "...well, the mouse should just stay away from the lion", lol. 
Discussion
This is where the adult listens and the kids speak. I asked the kids what would they do...how would they feel? I think if they are allowed to speak, they have a lot to say.While gentle coaxing is great, there is no need to push a child in any activity.
Response
Not the same as discussion, response focuses on how the child is actually taking in the story (verbal/non-verbal cues). What kinds of facial gestures does he make? Does he move closer to another child? Is their laughter...sighs of relief?
I also asked the kids to make the kinds of sounds that perhaps the animal would make, and how they thought the animal(s) would/could get out of a particular situation (ie. being caught in the net etc.)
Once I picked up these small cues I tried to engage each child.
Of course some kids can use words to express how they feel, while others cannot. For the smaller child, participation is just as important. You can have him hold or touch an item or simply just be. The importance of this simple exercise could not have been more apparent. The kids learnt a valuable lesson (no matter how small you are, you CAN always make a difference)! They had so much fun, they wanted to do it again AND, they did do it, even after I had left our space. I would say that's pretty awesome!
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4 comments:

Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar at: May 14, 2015 at 6:02 AM said...

I love this!

Clairejustine oxox at: May 16, 2015 at 9:34 AM said...

Great idea, lovely post :)

Karen Bell at: May 18, 2015 at 3:08 AM said...

Story telling like this is great and very important, We did something like this a little while ago and my son decided to add music to it.
Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

Marie at: May 18, 2015 at 7:17 AM said...

This is another inspiring idea Salma. I enjoy a lot kids drafting stories from nothing. They have good ideas and we both learn from this experience.

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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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