Sitting around the campfire telling stories is more than just family fun, it contributes significantly to early literacy development. We’ll explain four reasons storytelling is an effective building block that can ease the journey to literacy.
Learn The Purpose Of A Story
A child just has to take one look at the mesmerized faces listening to a campfire tale, and they’ll see the power and purpose of a story…to entertain and to teach. It can be very encouraging for a new reader to see the pleasure adults and children alike, take in listening to a good (and sometimes scary) story. A story told aloud lifts words off a page and creates connection amongst the listeners.
Read With Expression
Have you ever heard a campfire story told in a monotone voice? Neither have I. Oral stories rely on playing with expression, accents, volume and tone to help evoke the power of emotions when pictures are missing. As children learn to tell stories, they’ll naturally bring their newfound ability to their reading and writing.
Understand Story Structure
Don’t be surprised if your little one wants you to repeat your campfire story over and over again. No two people ever tell a story the same, but key points like the plot remain the same. Encourage your child to retell the story and you’ll soon see how much of the story they understood and remembered.
Storytelling Is Natural
Children are always telling stories through their play. It comes naturally to them but can fade as they get older. One fun way to continue to nurture this skill is through the storytelling game Fortunately, Unfortunately. Begin each sentence by alternating between Fortunately or Unfortunately (e.g., Fortunately, I got a cake for my birthday. Unfortunately, it fell to the ground before I ate a slice).
Want another way to get started with storytelling? Here’s a simple tip. Retell or adapt (e.g., change the characters or ending) a familiar tale like The Three Little Pigs or Goldilocks and The Three Bears.