Steps for Children to Tell a Story

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    • 1). Find a story that is age appropriate for the storyteller as well as the intended audience. Ask a teacher or librarian for suggestions on age appropriate books.

    • 2). Obtain a printed copy and an audio copy of the book. Have the child read the book to himself while listening to the audio copy. This enables him to hear the expression of the reader, and understand the meaning of the words and the emotions behind the story.

    • 3). Tell the child to listen to the story at the same time as he is reading the book. Explain that he should read with the audio parts in order to understand the entire work. This will also allow you to hear his diction. This technique is especially helpful for younger children trying to memorize the story.

    • 4). Adapt the story to that it suits the storyteller, the audience, and the time allotted for the presentation. Although older children might not need assistance, younger children will need help deciding which parts are important to the overall story.

      Omit unnecessary parts, or focus only one a few of the characters in the book. Focus on the parts of the story that evoke emotion and stimulate senses. Listeners should be able to see, feel and smell what is described in the story.

    • 5). Assign the child to read the edited story aloud until it is memorized.

    • 6). Explain that good storytellers take on the mannerisms and voices for each character in the story. For example, a very young girl might twirl her hair or fidget with her clothing; or a young boy might adjust his ball cap, slouch or chew gum. Based on the mannerisms of the storyteller, listeners should know when each character in the story is speaking. Narrated parts should not have a particular voice or mannerism.

    • 7). Require the child to practice the story while looking at himself in the mirror. This allows him to make sure his facial expressions and gestures are appropriate and will enhance the story. Remind the child to pay attention to the pace of his words, speeding up when there are exciting parts, but making sure not too speak too quickly so that people can't understand him.

    • 8). Arrange for a dress rehearsal in front of friends and family before the storyteller makes his public debut. Friends and family will help him feel more confident and may give him suggestions on what he can do better to tell the story.

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