Someone has rightly said – “There is nothing that a good story can’t do”. Storytelling is one of the most popular and widely used preschool activities. It not only helps in the development of language skills but contributes to a whole set of other aspects. You can help your preschooler enhance vocabulary and take language skills higher simply by listening to more and more stories. While listening to a story children’s mind is teleported to a world of imagination when they start relating to the characters in it. Just by listening to stories, young children learn various personal and emotional skills, such as sharing, helping others, keeping the environment clean, etc.
‘Is there anyone like me ?’ is a story of a donkey who is looking for someone just like him. It carries an important message – that everyone is special. So does the donkey really find someone?
Let’s find out what happens!
Children in the age group of 2 – 5 years
The story ‘Is there anyone like me?’ has been published by African Storybook Initiative. It is written by Fred Strydom and illustrated by Jess Jardim-Wedepohl.
We suggest you tell the story in the language that the child prefers and is more comfortable with. After that, you may repeat the story in the second language should you or your child like to.
The storytelling technique
1. If you can easily access a printer, we suggest you take out a colored print-out (if possible) of the storybook and use it to tell the story to the child. Make sure to put together the different pages of the storybook in the correct order and bind them together.
2. If taking a print-out seems difficult, you may straight away read from the e-storybook on your laptop/computer screen.
3. Before you begin telling the story, make sure that the child is comfortably seated and the illustrations of the storybook are clearly visible at the child’s eye-level.
4. Begin by encouraging the child to look at the illustration on the cover page and guess what the story could be about? To the young 2-3 year old, you will need to provide some support as the little one tries to guess what the story could be about. Subsequently, read out the title of the story.
5. Begin reading the story, page by page. As you read slowly and clearly, allow the child enough time to look at the corresponding illustration in front of the eyes. Let the child connect what you are saying to what is seen in the storybook.
6. At any time, make sure that there is only one page in front of the child. This page should be the page that you are reading.
7. For the 3-5 years old child, you may point at the text as you read it. This will help your child understand that print/text carries meaning. This awareness (known as print awareness) is important for preschoolers in order to become readers eventually.
If you don’t engage the child in small conversations, the story may start becoming dull and boring.
How to make story telling interesting?
Ask simple questions related to the story while you are reading it. It helps the preschooler concentrate and come back to the story if distracted.
8. When the story ends, do ask the child if she liked it. Encourage the child to tell you what she’s liked about the story. Subsequently, you should also share what you liked about the story.
Something to keep in mind
We all grew up thinking that every story has a lesson. Often grownups told us the ‘moral’ of the story at the end of it. Well, we would like to suggest otherwise. While it is true that every story has something to teach but that entirely depends on what a child wants to learn from it. These messages that children themselves choose to pick up will vary from child to child. As adults, we should allow children to pick up their own messages instead of us trying to tell a predetermined ‘moral’ or ‘learning’.Therefore, ask not what your child learned but what she really liked?
In the story, the donkey finds out that he is special and that there is nobody like him. Encourage the child to think that she is special by asking
“What you think is special about you?”.
Then encourage the child to share what she thinks. Let the child feel special, appreciated & loved! These feelings will go a long way to build a child’s confidence and positive self-esteem.
How did you and your child like this story? Did your child enjoy it? What did she say?
Help us improve and tell us more about activities that parents may find helpful. We look forward to your suggestions!
This article is in a series of preschool activities that have been published by Team BestOfSchools for preschool-aged children that parents can easily perform at home.
Follow us so that you don’t miss out on the next one!