Storytelling with PRE-K to Kindergarten
A preschool classroom is a community of learners. These young students are rapidly developing in all areas of growth: physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, and linguistically. Their main modality of learning is play. Just like all learners the learning is best done in context. Young children are trying to make sense of the world and stories are the way we all do this. Traditional stories, no matter the culture, put language, emotions, and society’s lessons in context. When young children hear and discuss stories from diverse cultures and then play with those stories, they are trying out new vocabulary and new life skills in a joyful creative way.
Storytelling with High School Students
Teenagers face unique problems that can negatively impact their learning. High school teachers find that their students feel increasingly alienated from mentors, disinterested in learning beyond what they glean from social media, and afraid to have honest conversations with peers. Storytelling Arts offers student-centered programs to help teachers create a classroom environment that draws on the diverse personal experiences of students to engage them in learning.
Stories not only allow people to describe and understand the world around them, they also have the power to change lives. When students hear folktales and myths, they find in them the stories of their own lives, stories which enable them to talk about things they have never talked about and recognize things about themselves and their environment that they have never noticed. Using the art of oral storytelling to engage students in discussions about myth, folktales, and history develops active listening and creative problem-solving skills. The process both supports academic curricula and transforms student thinking.
Storytelling with Children with Special Needs
Children with special needs respond to the intimacy of storytelling, encouraging and enriching the modalities of multiple intelligences whether expressed through linguistic, musical, gestural, image, or kinesthetic connections. Organizational anthropologist Judith E. Glaser has demonstrated that training in speaking and listening, the basic art of storytelling, supports engagement and collaboration and building an educational and social community. Storytelling also supports conversational skills, strengthening tools, habits, and rituals, to increase social sensibilities of empathy and responding to one another.
Storytelling as A Springboard for Creative Writing
The teaching artists at Storytelling Arts use journaling, poetry, personal story, playwriting, and fiction writing, as tools to connect the archetypal images of traditional story to the contemporary lives and studies of the students with whom we work. The dividend is craft. The more a student can articulate the lessons in a story, the better they become at interpreting those lessons. The more they exercise the development of their own new narratives the better they become at the craft of creative writing.