Sharing Stories through the Use of Props
One benefit to the performer when reading aloud is that the text of the story is visible so that forgetting the story sequence is next to impossible. With storytelling, of course, no text is available, and remembering the story sequence is one of the major challenges faced by the performer. When making the transition from reading aloud to storytelling, it might be wise for you as a beginning performer to develop a repertoire of stories that employ some sort of prop that reminds you of the story sequence. In this way, you will begin to sense what it is like to share stories with an audience much as a storyteller does yet have the textual support available to someone who reads stories aloud.
Mastering the art of presenting wordless picture books, felt board stories, or stories that involve manipulating objects on an overhead projector may be a good transition for you away from reading aloud toward the pure art of storytelling. Of course, for some of you, learning to manipulate props in addition to learning a story may be an additional distraction that makes the transition more than less complicated. In this case, you will be best off skipping prop-related story performance and starting immediately to learn to tell stories.
Because of their reliance on visuals and simple construction, most prop-related stories, especially felt board and overhead projector stories, are primarily intended for young children. Then, too, most wordless picture books are geared toward younger audiences, although some like Goodall's (1987) The Story of a Main Street, Rohmann's (1994) Time Flies, or Ward's