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Ten Tips for Telling a Story

Ten Tips for Telling a Story

It's great to get children into books... it means they can do something for themselves, even if they just make up their own stories from the pictures. It's educational and it keeps them occupied. When reading to children it's important to keep their attention. Here are some tips to do just that and make the reading experience more enjoyable

  1. To begin, choose a story that you love and believe has a good message.
  2. Read the story two or three times, paying attention to the plot, characters, key points.
  3. Remember any phrases that are key to the story, such as Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum. Practice any poems and songs - the Dr Seuss rhyming stories are a good challenge for you!
  4. Repeat the story in your OWN words without notes, while washing up, walking, etc.
  5. Write down the bare bones or key points of the story’s development in no more than 10-12 sentences. This allows you to focus on the essentials of the story. Do not worry about the details, descriptions, etc., for now.
  6. Tell the entire story to yourself in two minutes, leaving out the descriptions and sticking to the essentials. Do this several times to learn the essentials.
  7. Read the original story again paying attention to the descriptions, voices, sounds, time, etc.
  8. Flesh out the story. This means tell the story again to yourself, including the descriptions, sounds, smells, place in time, etc. Appeal to the five senses.
  9. Tell the story again to your child, a pet, a friend, including the descriptions, sounds, smells, place in time, etc. This is often best done when not looking directly at one another, e.g. when walking, washing up or cooking. Practice more!
  10. Go out and tell the story to others! Keep it under 12 minutes and PRACTICE. Be confident and enjoy telling the story. It’s yours to flesh out as you wish.

If you hear a story that you want to tell, write it down in full form and in bare bones as soon as possible and tell it several times within 24 hours to embed it in your memory. Do not get hung up on exact phrasing or words, but remember the main points. Please remember to acknowledge any known authors, tellers or writers when re-telling stories.

Some storytelling links to inspire you:

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