What Are the Basics of How to Tell a Story?

There are commonalities in all Fairy Tales:

  1. “Once Upon a Time”
  2. A problem or conflict
  3. A solution
  4. The number “3”
  5. “Happily Ever After”


Storytelling Tips:


  • Keep your stories simple and short (10-15 min.)


  • Use eye contact, voice inflection, and facial expression as much as possible.


  • Dramatic pauses are wonderful! You will always get a reaction from your audience!


  • Have the children be part of your storytelling process! Use them to do gestures, put pieces on the felt board, make sounds, do dramatic actions and movements, etc.


  • Relax, breathe, and play! It’s a fun game that everyone wants to play with you!


  • Tell stories in your own words! Just remember a few lines of the plot and feel free to let them come out differently. Inform the children before you begin that you are the Storyteller and they may hear a story that may be a little different from what they have heard before. Let your imagination work. That’s what will create magic, not your fears of memory!


  • If you get stuck, simply describe the details of sounds, colors, smells, clothes, atmosphere etc. to make up time. This is a psychological trick because it stimulates your imagination and mental imageswhich are the best ways to trigger your memory. In oral storytelling there are no mistakes! Nobody knows what you are going to say!

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