1. To help children quiet down and make the transition to story time, show
them a “talking stick.”
Author’s Note: I was lucky to have a real talking stick given to me by one of
the members of my native band.
2. Just before story time, explain to the children that long ago the native
people used talking sticks when they met in groups for discussions. The only
one allowed to speak in the group was the one holding the stick. When that
person was finished speaking, he passed it to the next person who had
something to share.
3. Ask the children who would like to try it. Most children (even the reluctant
speakers) will want to use it.
More to do Art: After you try the talking stick during story time, let the children know that
they can decorate their own stick to take home. Tell them that traditional
talking sticks are decorated with stories that were passed on to families by
means of drawings and carvings. They can make drawings that represent their