A child telling a story benefits him in all the ways that reading aloud does. And much more.
When a child tells a story, initially he may fall short of words to describe something. Or even complete a sentence correctly. But the more stories that he tells, and of course with your help, not only will his vocabulary improve but so will his grammar. This will go a long way with his speech development in later years.
When a child reads aloud from a book, even if its a story, his brains just process the words. But when he has no material in front of him and yet has to relate a tale, the thoughts required behind it are much more advanced. The brain, then, not only has to think of what will happen next in advance (predict), but also create a coherent sequencing of the story structure. This won’t happen in a day. so let your kid keep telling you stories.
Storytelling stimulates imagination. Even if its a known fairy tale, you will notice that there are bits and parts which each child re-tells differently. Encourage such thoughts. Don’t get them to memorize stories but rather go with the flow of their own imagination. That will make it more fun too. You could even have a session where you begin a story and then find out how the child (children) thinks that it would end.
A child is bound to have a favorite story. At times, even it becomes repetitive for you, do a role reversal and ask him to tell you that story. You will know how he has comprehended the situations, emotions etc. The more stories you allow a child to tell, the more his power to grasp, understand and comprehend will improve.
Remembering a story is not as easy as you thin. At least for a child. So tell him stories and at times ask him to repeat it. It will improve his ability to remember.
Encourage your child to tell you stories. And when he does listen to him with keen interest. When he sees that you are enjoying what he is saying, it will boost his self esteem. If you are planning a story telling session in front of a larger group or in school, you can face shyness and a few of these questions. Handle them with patience and with care.
• What if I forget what comes next?
• How will I handle a mistake?
• What if people are not listening to me?
• I am scared of the stage
• What if I want to go to the washroom
If you are planning a story telling session with kids at school, it can be a team building exercise as well. As a starting, divide them into groups of two (later increase the group size) and ask them to tell a tale involving two characters or one narrates and the other is the character. This will build team spirit and coordination between two people. Don’t keep friends together!
Creates a love for books
Start by reading out a story to your child at times. As he grows he will try to emulate you and begin to read them himself. These he can read aloud to you. Follow this up with a story telling session without the book. This will slowly grow his interest in books. But do allow him to read the kind of books that he wishes – even if they are comics at times.
Makes them more expressive
When children tell a story they slowly learn how to use their voices (tone, pitch, pause, volume, voice throw) and facial expressions differently. This does make them more expressive. They also learn to judge the emotion that someone is feeling by looking at his face. And, well, use it quite a bit themselves too. At times, it might get a little too much under daily circumstances, but its still fun with the little ones.
Become a performer
Storytelling involves using the brain together with the use body language and emoting of dialogues. This makes an active story telling session almost like a performance. And each one is unique. As a child grows, the way he tells a story by maintaining eye contact with audience, modulating his voice etc makes him keep improving as a ‘performer’.
So encourage your child to tell you stories. And let his love for reading and telling tales grow.