Today sees the start of the 11th annual National Storytelling Week. It runs from 29th January until 5th February and celebrates the power of storytelling to enhance creativity and encourage imagination. If you have been following my blog for a while you probably realise that we are all big readers and we love a good yarn so I, of course, have big plans for this week!
I am going to move bedtime reading downstairs. We are going to abandon the written word and instead sit in front of the fire and tell stories. With our wide age range this could be an uncomfortable disaster but I plan to use various tactics to encourage freedom of expression, imagination and creativity.
- We might turn the lights off and tell stories by candle and firelight – we love doing this for Earth Hour so it’s not new to them. I have done this with classes of school children too and it is amazing what they come up with when the harsh, exposing light of electricity is removed.
- Telling stories in the round is fun where one person starts the story and then passes it on to the next and so on around the circle
- We may use an object to start a story, stones are good for this as are puppets, toys, a piece of jewellery, photographs, postcards, newspaper headlines or pictures from magazines.
- We may recount some early memories and some family mythology
- We might turn the lights back on one evening and make a big tray of gloop for everyone to play with, some of our best storytelling times have come about while we’re up to our elbows in gloop.
- I might give them a topic to start them off or we might re-tell an old favourite ( we might even re-tell an old favourite in the style of another one…)
- We might act out a nursery rhyme or fairy tale. One of my favourite ice breakers when working with a new class, is to split them into groups with a fairy tale each which they then have to act out using no words at all apart from the word I give them. This causes enormous hilarity and forces creative expression upon them. The group who has Jack and the Beanstalk to tell with only the word sausage to use is always a good one!
- We will probably use one or two of our storytelling games and we will definitely use Maggy’s story cubes!
- We will play charades, heads, bodies and legs and consequences
- Most of all we will have fun playing with words and making up stories!
What else could we do? Have you any ideas for encouraging story telling and a love of language?