As children’s first teachers, families can support children’s learning through storytelling in multiple ways. It is helpful for teachers to explain to families how stories support children’s success in school by increasing attention spans, enlarging vocabulary, learning about sequencing of events, etc. Families can learn of the benefits of storytelling from the Parenting in Action TV show (in English and Spanish) and read a number of articles on the subject.
Newsletters can explain how storytelling works in your classroom. K0/K1 teacher Megan Nason’s newsletter provides a template for such communications.
Teachers at the Blackstone organized a family storytelling event that had two parts. Parents attended a 45 minute workshop on the importance of storytelling and learned ways they could support their children's stories, including suggestions to parents for telling their own stories.
At the end of the workshop, families broke into classroom groups and wrote a short story to share with their children. The parents then went to their children's classrooms where they listened to their children tell stories. They then shared their story with the children.
Though the workshops were held during the school day, attendance was high. Teachers made posters and placed them around the school (see above), and sent home a bilingual flyer and invitation, decorated by the children. The day before the event, children were sent home wearing bracelet reminders.
Danielle explains how she supports her kindergarten daughter's storytelling. The clip can be used in helping other parents understand the importance of storytelling/story acting and what they can do to support their children.
Asking families to send in stories from home allows children reluctant or unable to tell stories at school to share their stories with classmates. Curley School K0/K1 inclusion teacher Megan Nason explains how stories from home enriches classroom life.