It has only been two weeks since our storytelling venture began and I think we are off to a great start. We don’t have a specific order for who tells the story each day because I understand that sometimes you just don’t have any idea for a story and as with any activity here, participation is optional as long as you respect the others that do want to. I find it interesting that the older preschoolers are the ones that most often opt out of a turn at storytelling.
The children get really excited as storytelling time gets near. They whisper amongst themselves about whose turn it is going to be – who has a story idea – so as we sit down for circle they already know who wants to tell the story. They have already decided that on school inservice days the school age children – who are not usually here for circle time – will be the story teller.
Another aspect that I find fascinating is the way the children incorporate portions of previous stories into the one that they are telling. Sometimes it is the name of the character – ‘toothpaste’ has been popular — or the problems they encountered, the storyteller often use parts of other stories to create their own story. I don’t see this as ‘stealing’ or copying the ideas of others but rather ‘proof’ that they were truly listening to and comprehending the stories told by their friends. This is an amazing accomplishment especially when you consider that we are not using any graphics or props for these stories.
So, as promised, here is one of my favourite stories so far – as told by a three year old;
“My friend Nutty is a squirrel. He saw his friend Catty the caterpillar. Nutty dressed up like a zombie for Halloween. His friend dressed up as a helicopter – a very colourful helicopter – like a rainbow. They went out to get candy at people’s houses. After Halloween Nutty went back to being a squirrel. Catty couldn’t be a caterpillar anymore because he was a butterfly.”