October 2020 Newsletter – Storytelling: Developmental Benefits of Storytelling

Storytelling provides opportunities for children to strengthen skills across developmental domains. Here is a look at just some of the skills children learn:

Language and literacy skills

  • Children are exposed to and begin to use a wide variety of vocabulary words. They hear these words in context, which makes them more meaningful.
  • They become familiar with patterns of spoken language. They notice changes in tone, inflection, and the pace of language.
  • Children can begin to make the connection between spoken and written word if adults transcribe their stories onto paper.
  • They develop an understanding of the parts of a story, including plot, setting, characters, climax, conflict, conclusion, etc.
  • They develop an enthusiasm and excitement toward learning new things in story form, which can extend into an excitement about reading.

Social emotional skills

  • Children employ their creativity and self-expression when telling original stories.
  • Confidence is strengthened as children’s skills improve and their stories are seen as valuable.
  • They are introduced to elements of different cultures and traditions, which can lead to a better understanding of their peers.
  • Children are required to practice empathy and perspective-taking, which helps them see the world through the eyes of other people.
  • They strengthen their listening skills when they listen to adults or peers tell stories.
  • Children practice self-regulation as they show respect for the storytellers and use their audience skills.
  • Relationships are built when adults take the time to tell a story to a child. When adults transcribe children’s stories, children feel a sense of trust and acceptance, which can strengthen trust and bonds between children and adults.

Cognitive skills

  • Children will use their planning skills to develop the arc of the story. This is a skill that takes lots of practice to master. Young children will tell very disjointed stories at first.
  • They begin to understand the order and sequence of a story, along with the meaning of words such as first, next, last, etc.
  • Children will need to employ their problem-solving skills to help their characters out of sticky situations. This is an excellent way for children to explore how solutions to problems might work out, making it more likely that they will try these solutions in real life.
  • Children use memory skills when retelling a familiar story or telling a story about an event they experienced.

Physical skills

  • If adults encourage story acting, children will use physical skills to act out events of stories.

Seeing their words come to life on paper may encourage children to begin writing their own stories when they are developmentally ready to do so.

For the main article Storytelling, CLICK HERE

For the article Storytelling Materials, CLICK HERE

For the article Story Acting, CLICK HERE

For the article Director’s Corner, CLICK HERE