Storytelling in Schools
Reading, Writing, and Storytelling: A Bridge from the Middle School to the Preschool
by Joseph Sanacore and Al Alio
Keywords: preschool, elementary education, middle education, language arts, children’s literature, creative writing, storytelling, reading/writing relationship
Students at Hauppauge Middle School are writing original children's stories and then telling these stories to preschool children.
Before middle school students begin writing their stories, they participate in activities to help them develop a sense of their intended audience. As students write their stories, they work in small groups to discuss their developing stories in the context of activities and focus on story characteristics supporting the structure of text and on story devices reflecting aspects of language. The entire instructional emphasis is on guiding the process rather than on correcting the product. When the stories are completed, volunteers learn storytelling techniques.
The creative writing unit and the storytelling activities represent a rewarding bridge from the middle school to the preschool. Hauppauge High School sponsors a preschool program through its home economics and careers department. Older and younger children benefit from their creative involvement, the teachers also gain useful insights about the importance of language stimulation for young children. Observation of the young children who are active in the program is continuous, and their parents, as well as participating middle school students and teachers, are surveyed.
Findings show that most of the preschool children read more books, select a wide variety of materials, maintain a desire to read, and tell their own stories. The middle school students increase their sensitivity for communicating with a unique audience and they report an improved awareness of children's ability to use and appreciate language. (Three figures are included.)
|Copyright 2007 by Jackie Baldwin and Kathryn Eike Dudding. All Rights Reserved.|