With National Storytelling Week 2019 upon us (26thJan-2ndFeb) we here at Book Clubs in Schools are getting rather excited!
As JK Rowling said ‘There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.’ Then let’s get good and ready for some imagination travels: be it magic carpets; upon the backs of dragons; transported to the past; or dreaming up futures yet to exist! For this coming week we certainly aren’t going to be doing things by the book; for traditional storytelling relies on telling tales from good old memory alone.
With a grand focus on the artistic mind, anything goes to aid the storytelling journey, be it dance, music, pictures or puppets. Spontaneity, improv and audience participation are much on the cards. The oral story is most fluid; it may differ slightly with each telling though the bones of it remain the same.
Over the past 25 years The Society For Storytelling has promoted the great oral tradition of storytelling. National Storytelling Week is all about engaging ourselves and others in the power of this most worthy and ageless artform.
So what is this power of which we speak? It may be different for each listener and story possesor alike. The essence of its strength lies somewhere in the artistic authenticity of the storytelling experience; the orginal way of communicating the imagination and creative tales of life! Stories in this way have great ability to inspire; to remain remembered; to be passed along paths to other ears and minds.
The magic of storytelling is much about the act of sharing sentiments and experiences. It’s about removing the walls of text to bring closer together the teller and the audience. Storytellers are advised to learn their stories image by image rather than word for word. Most pressingly, the power of storytelling exists hand in hand with the power of learning, which is great news for educators epecially; we have ample opportunity to make noble use of this ancient magic!
In the words of author Peter Forbes ‘ Stories create community, enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others.’ For children and learners seeking to grow; this power of knowledge is rather invaluable.
Storytelling can vastly support the curriculum for it makes use of a variety of skills, from listening to concentration and speech. Encouraging children to tell stories can far enrich their language and imaginative confidence.
The activities and focuses found in storytelling can feed into a great abudance of lessons from literacy to drama.
The Society For Storytelling provides links to a plethora of professional storytellers to fill your story boots, yet you can also do the trick by rounding up any willing parents or staff members with a tale or two to tell! The website covers a range of free resources and info to jump start some wondrous activities that will have your learners far engaged and soon spinning some beautiful stories of their own.
For more info on this you can check out: https://sfs.org.uk/
Book Clubs in Schools x
By Gemma Campbell