Wednesday, August 5
Fairy Tales and Stories
I recently stumbled across an article on-line about storytelling with children. I was very interested to learn more about the preferred method of storytelling in the Waldorf classroom.
The following information comes from a Waldorf educator, David Darcy and although it addresses storytelling, I find it relevant for picture book reading as well.
This first quote answered my question as to why my daughter wants to hear the same story I read the day before.
"Because the fairy tales are so rich in imagery, children benefit greatly from hearing the same story told for three consecutive days. During the first listening, they are usually most focused on the plot. During the second listening, they know what will happen, so they can live more fully into the images. On the third day, it is common for children to inwardly tell themselves the story as they are hearing it."
And another question, When is the best time to read or tell a story?
"Ideally children should be given time immediately after the story to "ruminate" on it, so you may want to have snack and recess after the story. Just as our food must go through a process before it is useful as energy, the images in a story are most powerful when they are given time to sink in. Ideally, children should be able to sleep on a story before they are asked to remember it at all."
(From- David Darcy: Selecting Stories from Grimms Fairytales)
As a parent and previous preschool teacher I used storytelling occasionally but not on a daily basis because we always had books. I liked this quote I found from Waldorf educator Barbara Sokolov about one reason storytelling is important: "Waldorf teachers call it "living into the story." When a child is living into a story, she forms imaginative inner pictures in response to the words. Having the ability to form mental images, to understand, gives meaning to the process of reading. Without this ability, a child may well be able to decode the words on a page, but he will remain functionally illiterate."
Storytelling also increases vocabulary and reading comprehension as well as using imagination and creativity. In the past I have used flannel boards for storytelling or just a couple visual aids. The more I have thought about storytelling, the more I am going to try to incorporate it into our lives at home. One easy way we will start is to simply read the story without using the pictures.