Once upon a time...

22nd January 2014
08.20 A.M

This morning while going through today's newspapers, I came across an artical stating how important story telling skills are for an individual.The artical, a part of the job scenario today section of the paper says
'It’s not just those in creative pursuits who have to master the art of storytelling. Narrative skills can be pivotal in any job'.

 It goes on  to say that, 'Look around you. The ones who can tell a good story are often the ones who move faster up the ladder of success. A little talked-about skill, storytelling, is a formidable tool for persuasion, putting forth an idea or simply just communicating with another person. Right from the interview stage, good storytellers have an edge, as they are able to illustrate examples of their abilities better'. 

Being an educator,I am sure my fellow educators, parents and not to forget grand parents(who are of course considered to be the traditional story tellers in each family) have all used stories to not only entertain children but also to educate them regarding life facts and even use them(stories) as teaching aids in subjects like science,mathematics and history too.

However, today's artical brought to the forefront of my mind, how very rarely this art of narration finds place in our list of skills to be inculcated (or in some cases nurtured) in a child. Over the years I have found that children naturally want to recount what experiences they went through during each day.I have also observed that in ninety percent of the cases either they are silenced due to lack of parental interest / lack of time or they are ridiculed.

I have tried to enlist below some of what I tried, in order to inculcate the skills of narration in children I interacted with:

  • Give children plenty of opportunities to recount events by giving them a patient hearing howsoever trivial the events might sound to you.( I know this is nothing new, but most important and most flouted this rule certainly is).
  • Make recounting days/events/shopping trips /virtually everything  a family ritual.
  • Narrate and weave stories having children you are interacting with, as the lead characters.Introduce events involving their lives into the stories . Or take a well known story and together with children take the story further.
  • Games like completing a story (A story opening is given to the beginner of the game and other players are to take the story forward turn by turn) are excellent family time and class circle time games.

I am sure ideas for enhancing the power of narration and story telling  are in abundance ,the only thing required is to listen to and not just hear our children .Are we listening?

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