Story-telling as a powerful tool for education

Mubina | Dec 5, 2019

Story-telling as a powerful tool for education

“It’s not magic that takes us to another world- it’s story-telling.” -Val McDermid

True isn’t it?

Children love stories. But unfortunately, many parents from the current generation, instead of exploring this magical world with their children, tend to just hand over gadgets to them for their entertainment or simply to keep them busy.

As a mother, I have been reading books and telling stories to my 5 year-old-daughter daily and can clearly see the cognitive development in her.

Therefore, with the help of my learnings from the Early Child Care Education course at KA, and with the confidence and motivation from the facilitators, this Diwali, I decided to spread the joy of reading and story-telling with other pre-schoolers as well.

I have been conducting Art & Craft activity camps during Summer and Diwali vacations for the last 4 years. However, this year, keeping in mind the benefits of story-telling, I decided to use stories to teach different concepts. Story-telling inspires curiosity, instils virtues and morals, enhances vocabulary and stimulates imagination. And when story-telling takes a form of drama, music, art/craft etc. it makes learning easier.

I took special care that all the stories chosen were age appropriate (3-6 years) and belonged to different themes. The learning objectives behind each story selected were well-defined and a detailed lesson plan using the theory of multiple intelligences was created for efficient working. Various Story-telling tools were used to narrate the stories.

  • The Palaeolithic era and a child’s imagination in Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson (Prehistory) was explored by the children with the help of a felt-mat. To relate to the cave paintings, the children performed Mud painting on paper, made a woolly mammoth and played a memory game with photos from prehistoric times.
  • The story behind Diwali was narrated using Stick puppets. To understand Diwali better, we dramatized ‘Let’s celebrate 5 days of Diwali’ (Festivals) by making laddoos, Rangoli and diya.
  • Monkey puzzle (Animal Kingdom) is a famous Julia Donaldson story and to make it more exciting we used Shadow puppetry and Dance for narration. It’s an excellent story to further discuss the life cycle of a butterfly and other young ones. The children learnt techniques like spin art and palm painting to create their own butterfly.
  • Stories when retold in the form of videos have greater impact. Therefore, Tiny seed by Eric Carle (Plants) was retold through an animated video of the book. During the narration, children too gushed like the wind and grew tall like the plant. We assessed seeds of some fruits and vegetables. They also used coloured paper to depict autumn and planted fenugreek and mustard seeds.
  • The problems faced by a penguin during egg-sitting in The Emperor Penguin (Birds) was understood with the help of hand puppets and various props and games. Children learnt about the physical features through a song and craft activity and about egg-sitting through a fun balloon game.

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Story-reading thus, can be made fun, creative, informative and interactive. So much complex information was passed on to the children with ease. The children not only enjoyed the stories and activities but were able to imagine, understand and restate!

Thus, it is rightly said that “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling

 

Mubina

Mubina is a Post-graduate in Biotechnology from D.Y Patil University. However, her passion for teaching preschoolers led her to pursue her ECCE. She regularly conducts activity classes and believes each child needs to be unfolded rather than moulded!