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Storytelling and Common Core Standards

Schools in most states are now following the Common Core Standards.
Those schools who are keeping their state standards have similar mandates, though details such as the grade levels for the standards may vary.

How does storytelling fit with these standards?

• For young children the answer is that experts say
children need to hear 1,000 stories before they begin to learn to read and then to write

• Any age student will learn a standard best if it is embedded in a story.

• The Position Statement from the National Council of Teachers of English states:
Storytelling listeners encounter both familiar and new language patterns through story.
They learn new words or new contexts for already familiar words.
They subconsciously acquire familiarity with narrative patterns
and begin to predict upcoming events.
Both beginning and experienced readers call on their understanding of patterns
as they tackle unfamiliar texts.
Then they can recreate those patterns in both oral and written compositions.

Story is the best vehicle for passing on factual information. Historical figures and events linger in children’s minds when communicated by way of a narrative.

The standards mandate classic myths and stories from around the world
Stories from the folktales of diverse cultures, shared in the oral tradition, connect the literacy of the spoken word to the book format of story-sharing, as well as to areas of the social studies curriculum.

• Connecting to standards in Speaking and Listening:
Storytelling models communication skills and the narrative process.
The standards require that students gain, evaluate, and present increasingly complex information, ideas and evidence through listening and speaking as well as through media.

• Connecting to standards in Language:
The standards expect that students will grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversations, direct instruction and reading.
The standards will help students determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their repertoire of words and phrases.

• Storytelling IS communication,
an interactive art that utilizes
the tools of gesture,
facial expression,
and voice
to define and enrich the language and meaning of stories.

Storytelling also encourages comprehension,
and use of diverse words in a growing vocabulary.

• Connecting to standards in Reading:
The standards include adventure stories, folktales, legends, fables, fantasy, realistic fiction, and myth, all of which are conveyed through storytelling.

To learn more about storytelling and youth, visit the website:
To read the why the National Council of Teachers of English believes storytelling is a necessary component in education, here is their Position Statement:

To contact Lynn Ruehlmann
Phone: (757) 625-6742

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