By Laura Lodge on 22 Jan 2020
Stories have entertained and delighted people since language began. They entertain, teach and provide connection. Whether read from a book or told orally, stories have the power to transport the reader to other worlds and gain new perspectives.
This year, National Storytelling Week runs from the 1st to the 8th February, with fringe events called the week’s ‘Coat Tales’ also running for four days either side. 2020 brings the twentieth anniversary for this national celebration of all-things storytelling, and with it, the wish for its reach to go even further.
"#NationalStorytellingWeek" brings together anyone and everyone who loves to share stories, both adults and children alike. Schools, nurseries, businesses, care homes, prisons, hospitals and many other settings take part each year. If you recognise the importance of storytelling, then this week is for you.
From a school’s stand point, the importance of storytelling, sharing stories and reading aloud to children cannot be underestimated. A wide body of research shows that storytelling and teachers and parents reading aloud to children both have a significant impact on children’s attainment (Kalb and van Ours, 2013); language development (Duursma et al, 2008) and social-emotional development (Mendelsohn et al, 2018).
Storytelling and reading aloud to children are key to any school’s curriculum for Reading, so how will you celebrate #NationalStorytellingWeek in your setting?
The Society for Storytelling, which pioneered the event, publishes a range of resources each year which support schools and others to celebrate stories.
Last year, they asked for children to tell their own story beginning with the sentence ‘It was 10pm when I heard it, a loud bang followed by a whoosh in the garden. I opened the window and gasped. It was…’ Perhaps your school could run a similar competition to celebrate #NationalStorytellingWeek this year?
Ultimately, all you need is a good story to tell, but which to choose? The key is to find one that you are just as excited by as your pupils – your enthusiasm will come through your storytelling in leaps and bounds. You may wish to share the stories of your own childhood; take children on a journey to faraway places or use a story to find commonality. Some of our favourite stories to read aloud or tell from memory are:
Once you have your story, then it is time to share it! You may also wish to get children involved in sharing their own stories, perhaps to a different class or year group. Or perhaps your school could partner up with a local care home to share stories together?
Colleagues at One Education will be live streaming a shared story every day during #NationalStorytellingWeek.
Check out our twitter account @OESchoolDevelop to watch and interact with us during the week. If you have a particular story you would like to hear, then please do let us know!
We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating #NationalStorytellingWeek, but please remember, sharing stories is not just for this week.
Stories have great power, if only we take the time to read and share them.