Classroom Tales: Using Storytelling to Build Emotional, Social and Academic Skills across the Primary Curriculum

Classroom Tales: Using Storytelling to Build Emotional, Social and Academic Skills across the Primary Curriculum

Classroom Tales: Using Storytelling to Build Emotional, Social and Academic Skills across the Primary Curriculum

Classroom Tales: Using Storytelling to Build Emotional, Social and Academic Skills across the Primary Curriculum

Synopsis

"Classroom Tales provides all the necessary materials and techniques for using storytelling effectively to promote social and thinking skills. It is an essential resource for primary school teachers and educators, social workers and parents." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

I was working with highly troubled teenaged girls when I first became aware of the power of stories. the girls were in local authority care. At the time I was studying for an ma in Psychoanalytic Observation and, as I read the work of the analyst Bruno Bettelheim on fairy tales, I realised that these girls had missed out on many of the great children's stories.

So I did a project on children's stories with the girls. Highly aggressive young people who would usually refuse to work or hurl books across the room – or at us – sat entranced for hours, listening to children's stories. They produced high quality academic work based on what they had heard – and they also related on a powerful emotional level to the stories I read them. the stories were therapeutic for these girls in the best and broadest sense – they were good for them.

At that point I was still reading the stories to the girls. After studying group dynamics and with a background in special needs teaching, I became attracted to the idea of putting the book down and telling the stories instead. As any storyteller will attest, if you want to learn how to tell stories, you actually have to start doing it. So I began to tell stories, to my own children, to the children I worked with and to the teachers I was training. I began to discover for myself the power, the creativity, the sheer joy of telling stories to a group of listeners.

Now I use stories and storytelling as a crucial part of my work as an education advisor and coach, encouraging creativity, effective learning and positive mental health in children and teachers. I have told stories to hundreds and hundreds of children and adults. It is rare for a group of children not to listen spellbound to simple stories, simply told. It is not a difficult skill to acquire – all teachers have the basic skills necessary to tell . . .

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