Stories for Life
is an educational organization dedicated to teaching children the art of storytelling. Through
classroom instruction and opportunities for practicing the spoken word,
in the school and the community, children develop the skills to become
the cultural storytellers of their generation. Through the variety of storytellers available, each program is unique.
humankind began, people have told stories to each other, to pass on
values, beliefs, common history and heritage, to teach factual and
conceptual information, and to form bonds of friendship. Storytelling
is a frequently overlooked, but at the same time uniquely powerful,
method of enabling children to build proficiency in language arts. Storytelling
helps students be active not only in presenting but also in focused
listening and reacting, enhancing the vital skills of communication.
Owning Their Words
(a curriculum for upper elementary, middle and high school students)
was developed upon the premise that learning the art of storytelling can
have far reaching consequences when it comes to a child’s education –
storytelling enhances interpersonal skills, and greatly strengthens
communication, it stimulates language development, it promotes
creativity, and it strengthens a student’s capacity for objective and
rational thinking. Over the last decade and a half
education research has documented these findings in a variety of
articles and educational publications.
What Is Storytelling? National Council of Teachers of English, excerpts from their position statement on storytelling:
is relating a tale to one or more listeners through voice and gesture.
It is not the same as reading a story aloud or reciting a piece from
memory or acting out a drama--though it shares common characteristics
with these arts. The storyteller looks into the eyes of the audience and
together they compose the tale. The storyteller begins to see and
re-create, through voice and gesture, a series of mental images; the
audience, from the first moment of listening, squints, stares, smiles,
leans forward or falls asleep, letting the teller know whether to slow
down, speed up, elaborate, or just finish. Each listener, as well as
each teller, actually composes a unique set of story images derived from
meanings associated with words, gestures, and sounds. The experience
can be profound, exercising the thinking and touching the emotions of
both teller and listener.