When I asked myself this question, the first thing that came to mind was a live theatre event I attended by Canadian author and storyteller Robert Munsch. The theatre was packed with young children and their families. Munsch’s voice and facial expressions were alive with animation and energy.
The second storytelling experience that came to mind was more recent. It was Thomas King’s “The Truth About Stories” that I heard on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio. King used a repeated storytelling formula to begin and end each of his talks. King wove legend, history and modern day events into a tapestry of expression and insights that I will continue to revisit throughout my adult years.
But hearing oral stories by well-known storytellers does not happen everyday. Nor do all stories engage or make sense to children who vary in age, first language, culture, experiences, and personality.
Your reflections about the types of oral stories children hear may have included a wide variety of narratives:
Narratives — fiction and non-fiction; simple and complex — help children make sense of their relationships to objects, animals, people, communities, beliefs and ideas. This meaning-making is where learning happens.
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