The Power of Storytelling
Talking and visiting with each other is innate in us all. We tell stories of our day, share the funny moments of our lives and our memories. Today I still enjoy listening to my dad weave a story of his past or even the events of his current day. I can see the sparkle in his eye when he shares the time he jumped in a car and drove from NM to CA, to go to the opening of Disneyland. My daughter, in her 20s, still comes home eager to share the hilarious stories of her day spent with 3-year-olds. As the events of our day and especially our young writers unfold, share your daily stories and have them share theirs. Storytelling is a way of learning words, developing language skills as well as developing a sense of story, it also builds a foundation for higher-level thinking and shows how much you value their stories and writing.
How does this help our young writers? As a teacher and parent I am curious, I listen, ask questions and then help them get those words on paper. Their stories may be one sentence or 10. It may be a simple chain of events or have a real problem and solution. You may do the writing as they tell you the story and soon you both do some of the writing and in the end, your child will start to write stories on their own. Valuing what they share and write builds their confidence as a writer. Be sure to emphasize the story itself; the conventions of writing will come.
It is powerful to share your stories with children and have them share theirs. Help your child capture some of them on paper. This brings them to life again and lets your child know how important that memory is and how simple it is to write their story down. Write your own stories to read and share. The story linked here is by a kindergartener., You can see it is simple but clever. This young writer was proud to get this on paper and was eager to share it with her family and friends. Help take the mystery out of writing by telling stories to your children, listening to theirs, and writing them. These shared experiences will help take some of the mystery out of writing and build a good foundation for further writing adventures.