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As long as there have been people, there have been stories
When we heard the word “storytelling” oftentimes the first thing that comes to mind is an evening sitting around a campfire listening to our elders tell tales of their life. Though that often the case, kids can be amazing storytellers too and this is a skill that is excellent for them to possess. Storytelling can help to improve their language skills, instills a love of reading and stirs their imagination.
But the big question I seem to encounter often is how parents can encourage their kids to have an interest in storytelling. The first way I would advise is having them observe other oral storytellers in action. Local libraries often bring storytellers and many professional storytellers make and sell recordings. They can even be found at festivals and other cultural events.
Another great way to cultivate an interest in storytelling is through age-appropriate books. Luckily, there are some excellent kidlit books about storytelling on the market. Here are a few that I have encountered. Enjoy!
6 Storytelling Books for Kids
Internationally acclaimed author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino presents a powerful picture book that celebrates storytelling—from the past to the present and beyond.
From cave drawings to the invention of the printing press to our digital age, discover how a story has been told in many different ways from the past to today. It’s always been around, making us happy, sad, excited, or scared and bringing people together.
With simple text and delightful illustrations, Dan Yaccarino reminds us of the power of story.
A young boy wants to write a story, just like his big sister. But there’s a problem, he tells her. Though he knows his letters, he doesn’t know many words. ?Every story starts with a single word and every word starts with a single letter,? his sister explains patiently. ?Why don’t you start there, with a letter?? So the boy tries. He writes a letter. An easy letter. The letter I. And from that one skinny letter, the story grows, and the little boy discovers that all of us, including him, have what we need to write our own perfect story.
Some people collect stamps.
Some people collect coins.
Some people collect art.
Jerome collected words . . .
In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform and empower.
From the creator of The Dot, I Am Human, and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.
So begins the story of Helen Lester, author of Tacky the Penguin and many other popular books for children. By sharing her struggles as a child and later as a successful author, she demonstrates that hurdles are part of the process. She even gives writing tips, such as keeping a “fizzle box.” Helen Lester uses her unique ability to laugh at her mistakes to create both a guide for young writers and an amusing personal story of the disappointments and triumphs of a writer’s life.
The best story is one that comes from the heart The library is having a contest for the best story, and the quirky narrator of this story just has to win that rollercoaster ride with her favorite author! But what makes a story the best?
Her brother Tim says the best stories have lots of action. Her father thinks the best stories are the funniest. And Aunt Jane tells her the best stories to have to make people cry. A story that does all these things doesn’t seem quite right, though, and the one thing the whole family can agree on is that the best story has to be your own.
Anne Wilsdorf’s hilarious illustrations perfectly capture this colorful family and their outrageous stories in Eileen Spinelli?s heartfelt tale about creativity and finding your own voice.
Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it’s time to write stories, Ralph thinks really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling. But he has no stories! With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very little . . . and that maybe he really does have some stories to tell.
Something To Do: Writing Tips and Resources for Kids and Budding Storytellers
Read Write Think
Read Write Think is one of the most popular websites to practice writing skills. This website has both informative and interactive elements. Children can learn about the various aspects of writing by reading the lessons provided. They can then put what they have learned into action by using the interactive resources like the build a comic creator, creating a timeline, and the Printing Press which helps students to make various documents like brochures and letters.
BBC Bite Size: Writing
The BBC Bite Size site has educational resources for younger children in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, math, and science. The writing component includes a game, a reading section, a video, and a quiz. Topics include persuasive writing, writing letters, newspapers, and reports, and how to write and follow instructions. The four components under each topic provide children with an online lesson into the various types of writing in a fun and interactive manner.
Mr. Nussbaum’s 1,000 Sites in 1
Mr. Nussbaum’s 1,000 Sites in 1 provides annotated image links to appropriate learning websites for children. They are broken down by subjects and topics like science, math, reading, and games, creativity, and apps. This teacher created site provides links to language arts sites on various topics including spelling, comprehension, nouns, pronouns, and commas. However, the best part of this is the games that are created specifically for this site. Under language arts games, there are games ranging from learning spelling, proper use of semicolons, digraphs, and sentence structure.
Check out Brighty’s list of the Top Sites for Teen Writers
Here are some other resources:
- Ten tips for young writers from Aaron Shepard – includes turn on the TV which I agree with. I got rid of my TV 4 years ago and it really works!
- A young author’s bookshelf – books you might like to read on being a young writer, also from Aaron Shepard
- YoungWritersOnline.net – a community for young writers
- Google Directory for young writers – lots of links to communities etc
- Resources for young writers – more links to other sites
- Figment- a community for young writers and readers run by HarperCollins but in the forums, there are a lot of teen writers to connect with
- Magazines that young writers can submit to
If you are the parent or teacher of a budding author, encourage them! Encourage them to write, talk to other writers, enter competitions, take courses and do what they need to do to hone their craft. Show them the process of writing, editing, illustration and book production or connect them to someone who can.
The world needs more young authors!
SO…what if I told you that all of the fairy tales, myths, and legends that have been told about dragons over the years are WRONG. What if I told you that Dragons are indeed Real and that they are different than you’ve ever imagined?
As readers turn the pages and learn the truth about Dragons, they will see that the fiercest beasts in known history can actually be the best of friends. It’s a lesson in finding companionship in the most unusual of places. Dragons are Real is a magical book filled with stunning illustrations and hints that dragon are indeed all around us 🙂
Dragons are Real is now available for purchase on both Amazon and Gumroad! We are also offering a special free bonus gift of a Dragons Are Real Inspiration Activity Guide when you purchase your copy of this enchanting picture book.