Storytelling as a Teaching Tool

What is Storytelling?

What is a story but a tale about something that happened, to something or someone at a specific time and place, which ended in somewhat of a conclusion or solution. Maybe a tale with a start, middle and end? Possibly a tale that starts at the end and works backwards? Perhaps, a story is anything you want it to be (as long as you can make sense of it). Traditionally storytelling is the interactive process of a teller relaying a story to an individual or a group of listeners. Most often using an exaggerated tone and gesture, and when appropriate asking the listeners to share in the creation of the story by thinking about possible outcomes or solutions. Children have a remarkable ability to use imagination, fantasy and storytelling as a way to make sense of their world.

The Impact of Engaging in Storytelling Activities

Higher mental functioning is active when we start to think, imagine and create mental pictures in our minds. When children hear stories of dramatic encounters and terrible conflict, they begin to understand many ways of resolving a variety of problems without having to experience the distress. For example, in the story ‘Cinderella’ her two sisters were so mean to her, and the wicked step-mother was simply enraged with jealousy! What ask’s the educator to the class would you do if you were the sister? What other choice could the step-mother make? Why did Cinderella let them treat her so badly? Stories are the most exciting lessons.

Dr Catherine (Kitty) O'Reilly

Dr Catherine (Kitty) O'Reilly Collage

Posted on 23rd April, 2020, under Research