Stories never get old, but they should change their flavor as they are told again and again. Spicing up the storytelling process is easy with these fun tips from Mary Jo Huff, award-winning storyteller and author of Story Play: Building Language and Literacy One Story at a Time.
- Find that special story. What makes a story special depends on many things, including you, the children in your care, and the area where you live.
- Learn the beginning and the end of a story. Now, think about ways you can change the story in the middle to create something new, teach a new skill, or aid in a child's development.
- Be flexible and creative. Change the story to make it more meaningful to the listeners.
- Practice the story by telling it aloud until you are comfortable with it.
- Use voice inflections. Talk in high, low, squeaky, funny, and other voices.
- Move your body. Explore the parts of the story that invite you to use body movement.
- Introduce the story; do not jump into the telling. Set the scene by saying something about the story. For example, before beginning the story of "Little Red Riding Hood," you might ask the children if they've ever been in the woods.
- Look for places in the story where the audience can participate.
- Add music, humor, magic, and puppets to the story.
- Prepare props that will enhance the story.
Take a few of these fun and simple suggestions to heart, and you are sure to light a fire in every child’s imagination!