The Art of Storytelling

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Every student has the right to get a brighter future. This promising future needs a basic framework and foundation to be implanted, especially during the primary school education period. Students need to be trained to master various competencies in this fast-paced digital era, especially communicating in front of many people (communication skills).

Storytelling is one of the activities to train students to develop communication skills as well as gain new perspectives. Through stories, students know the meaning of life, themselves, and others. Learning the art of storytelling can help students easily understand and appreciate various cultures, races, and religions.

There are several other benefits of storytelling for students:

  • Allow students to explore their own cultural roots.
  • Allow students to experience diverse cultures.
  • Enable students to empathize with unfamiliar people/places/situations.
  • Offer insights into different traditions and values.
  • Help students understand how wisdom is common to all people/all cultures.
  • Offer insights into universal life experiences.
  • Help students consider new ideas.
  • Reveal differences and commonalities of cultures around the world.

Storytelling is also able to increase students’ abilities in class, such as:

  • Promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation.
  • Increase students’ willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings.
  • Encourage active participation.
  • Increase verbal proficiency.
  • Encourage the use of imagination and creativity.
  • Encourage cooperation between students.
  • Enhance listening skills.

Storytelling Tips for Students

  1. Choose Their Favourite Stories

In this stage, students can pick their favourite stories so the story can easily be embedded in their memories. There is a wide selection of stories ranging from folklore, fairy tales, myths, legends, and short stories.

You can provide various storybooks to allow students to find the best stories. You can see various interesting storybook titles in Menjadi Indonesia Literacy Program as a reference. There are 48 storybooks divided into three series, namely Stories of Indonesia, Stories of My Imagination, and Stories of My Little Friend.

These storybook collections contain various Indonesian cultures and positive social values. These can be the right choice for storytelling. You can easily get Menjadi Indonesia Literacy Program here or at our official Mentari Bookstores on Tokopedia or Shopee.

  1. Understand the Storyline

Without understanding the storyline, likely, students will not be able to perform optimally when telling stories. Help students understand the entire content of the story they have chosen to memorise by heart.

  1. Intonation and Storytelling Style

Teach students to tell stories using intonation and expression so that the audience can understand and focus on the story’s content. Use different voices for each character, for example, try to change the voice to be louder when describing the king or make their voice higher when they become a witch.

There are two styles of storytelling that can be applied when students tell stories. First, they can use dolls or puppets as the medium. Second, they act as characters in the story. Allow students to choose the style they are most comfortable with. They can also use both styles simultaneously.

  1. Connect with the Audience

As good storytellers, we have to be able to catch the audience’s attention. Teach students to make eye contact and greet their audience. Start with having several conversations before telling the story. For instance, students can say ‘hello’ to audience or ask them about the story.

  1. Never Give Up and Keep Practicing

Their first experience may not be as good as you would like it to be. Try to give them examples of good storytelling. It may help students to get an idea of how to tell a story. The more often you train their storytelling skills, the better off they will be. You can set the schedule so they can commit to practising according to a plan.

Developing students’ storytelling skills may be a long process. Students are unique and have their own capabilities, especially to master the art of storytelling. Participating in storytelling competitions can be a way for students to show their talent in storytelling.

Currently, Mentari Group is holding an English storytelling competition for students in grades 1-3 of primary school. There will also be other competitions for your students. Check here for more information.

References:

Teachingenglish.org.uk. Storytelling – benefits and tips. Retrieved December 24, 2021, from https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/storytelling-benefits-tips

DeNeen, Julie (2012, November 21). 30 Storytelling Tips for Educators: How to Capture Your Student’s Attention. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/30-storytelling-tips-for-educators/

Real School. (2022, January 17). English Story Telling for Kids: How a Kid Can Win a Storytelling Competition in English? Retrieved January 18, 2022 from https://therealschool.in/blog/english-story-telling-for-kids-how-kid-win-storytelling-competition-english/

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