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Storytelling is as old as speech. Once upon a time, everyone was a
To fight boredom and keep themselves company, these early storytellers
as they worked, telling the story of what they were doing. Then "I"
became narratives involving other people and the elements, and storytellers
tales of heros, myths, and legends. The art of storytelling evolved naturally
because some people preferred telling tales and other preferred listening to
As society developed, people wanted to keep a historical account of events.
storyteller occupied an honoured position and his role was very important.
Tribes competed to see who could tell the best stories, which led to
imaginary tales of elaborate heroic feats. Gradually, some stories featured
animals to satirize tribal events. By using animals, storytellers could make
of kings and chieftans without fear of retribution.
The Egyptians were the first to write down their stories. The Romans were
at spreading stories, as were the gypsies whose nomadic life enabled them to
carry tales far and wide. Royalty hired storytellers or troubadours who told
tales of court scandals or heroic accomplishments, accompanying themselves on
musical instruments. The troubadour gradually surrounded himself with a
of tumblers, pages and buffoons who helped him tell the story in an
way. Troubadours were succeeded by minstrals and mummers who travelled from
to town making their livelihood by entertaining people with their
Today, the art of storytelling continues as we tell stories to children to
communicate with them, entertain them, and pass on information. Anyone can
a story but, when a story is told, children feel a bond between the teller
themselves. In a society where parents lead busy lives and children are
entertained by the impersonal communication media of films and television,
storytelling can be an invaluable part of your program. An experience shared
between teller and listener, it helps children develop the skills of
and encourages them to visualize the story in their imaginations - to relax
What kinds of stories to Beaver-aged boys like ? They don't care for
instructional stories that sermonize. They do enjoy stories such as 'Chicken
Little' or 'The Little Red Hen' in which animals or objects have feelings,
when they are "lesson" stories.
Children believe in magic. A kiss can transform the ugly frog into a handsome
prince. They also recognize justice and injustice, crime and punishment. For
young boys, it is important for stories to convey magic and fantasy. Like
Wizard of Oz' or 'Aladdin and his Magic Lamp', they can be as far-fetched as
imagination will take them, but they also need to have a sense of real life
Tips for the Storyteller
There are certain steps that storytellers follow. They select a story
appropriate to the occasion, interests, and age of the audience, commit it to
memory, prepare the audience by sitting them in a circle, and begin the tale.
Professional storytellers generally memorize seven st...
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