Why telling stories encourages reading

One of the most common misconceptions about telling stories to people be it film, TV drama,  or live stoytelling is that it's killing the desire to read.  So some schools will only use storytelling for early years  and then push the older children to read.   Quite often if a child has not developed a love of taking in stories through reading, dispite the fact that all children develop at different rates,  that child then becomes tagged as being somehow deficient.   This results in the child falling behind.

I've proud that I've been into schools and shown then that a) older children are very receptive to being told stories - providing it's relevant and engaging - But also that is does lead on to children reading.  

Would a child read a book if they already know the story?  Yes.  Even though the Harrry Poter book were a best seller before the the movies Adults do.  

 But I've always known the opposite to be true.  


I thought storytelling was just for little children.

It's true that pretty much all educators understand the essential role stories play in feeding young minds.  Every single early years and foundation school will have storytelling at the core of it's teaching strategy. I been luck enough to help a number of school deliver stories in a way that deliver the best results for the children.  

But don't you just read from a book?

I never read form a book when I do tell stories.  People don't realise how that sets up a barrier between you and the child.  You lose some of the interaction and you will miss positive sign of engagement.  Most children's books are fairly simple and shouldn't take that loong to learn.  But I do teach how to learn and retell fairly substantial stories. But for maximum engagement and so that everyone gets the full benefit from a good story your better of putting the book down and interacting.  And that's something you definateley want to do with older children.

Such is the power of storytelling.  However, effective as they are at this level stories are more than a tool for teaching little one.  Most of the work that I do with schools have been with schools has been at primary and secondary level

It's really funny but until I started telling stories in school I'd never even thought about it that way.   I do remember being told stories at school but I actual heard more at home and I used to like telling making up stories.  I'd always thought of stories in the broader sense.  This takes in movies, theatre, TV drama and even my comic books when I was a kid.  And even going beyond that with real stories people told other about their lives and daily adventure,  the news stories that came through the visual and print media and my favourite; stories about other cultures places and other moments in time.

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