Story Telling Essay, Research Paper
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 stories a year and have a
repertoire of about 20 stories handy at all times.
If you are an inexperienced storyteller, look for short stories with
phrases. Choose tales that you like because Beavers can sense when you aren’t
keen on what you’re telling. You want stories that build up suspence to a
climax, preferably tales where characters speak for themselves rather than
straight narratives. Length is important – never more than 20 minutes for
Beaver-aged boys. Leave them wanting more. Generally, children’s magazines
not a good source of stories because the material is meant to be read by the
child, not out loud.
When you’ve chosen the story, you need to memorize it. It will take a few
spread over time. First, read it silently and try to see the story in your
mind’s eye by visualizing it as a series of pictures. Then learn it by
it aloud repeatedly, enjoying the words and the sound of the phrases. Think
about words that may be new or unfamiliar to your audience and incorporate
meanings into the story so that you won’t need to interrupt it during the
telling to explain.
Time yourself when you read the story aloud. After you have memorized it,
yourself again. If you use less time, you are either telling it too fast or
skipping parts. If it takes much longer, you are telling the story too
Tell your story to anyone who will listen. Before going to bed, read it aloud
again. If you can, tape or videotape yourself telling the story.
Once you’ve memorized the story, you are ready to tell it. These points will
help you do it more effectively. Smile and make eye contact with your
Vary the pitch of your voice and use facial expressions and hand spirit of
story – unless you do, don’t tell it. In choosing stories it is a good idea
select a theme for the hour, week, etc. (Honesty, courtesy, loyalty, safety).
Be sure to read the story out loud first because some are better read than
Don’t be afraid to use high and low tones to impersonate characters.
Be sure of your sequence of events; then practise out loud, in front of a
if possible, until you are used to the sound of your own voice and gestures.
These gestures should be very simple – if used at all.
Be sure your facial expression interprets the mood of the story. Your eyes
most important – use them.
Atmosphere can make or break a storytelling period. Be sure it is quiet,
secluded, and that there will be no interruptions once the story begins.
Try some of the tricks used by experienced storytellers – a "story
goes on when the story begins and comes off when it ends, or a mascot such as
teddy bear, doll or hand puppet to tell the story to or take the part of a
character. This is a simple device for taking your mind off the listening
audience if you are a little shy.
And the opening sentence! Don’t always say "Once upon a time…"
Why not try:
"Once, in the long, long ago and very far away…"
"On the very highest mountain in the whole world lived an old
"Those were the days when mighty beasts roamed the jungle…"