Using storytelling to improve literacy learning.

Woman leading storytime with young childrenOverview

Storytelling inspires strong writers. Storytelling is the oldest form of communication. Cultures have preserved their history, wisdom and cultural norms through storytelling (Koki, 1998). Through the development of a six-week storytelling program, children of diverse cultures and languages in Sunset Park, ages 6-12 will develop and improve their story writing skills. This program will allow children to express who they are, and pass down cultural knowledge. This program will give children the tools to promote collaboration and imagination. Working with children, oral language is seen first, then the expression of language in drawings, and written language comes last. Children who can tell a story can craft a stronger written product. Each week, children will experience stories from a range of cultures and recognize different styles and motifs of storytelling. The program will also identify key aspects of narratives, such as character, setting, action, conflict and resolutions. Children will begin to gain an understanding of audience, author, and viewpoint in the context of narrative. Each week the children will listen to a story, approximately 3-5 minutes in length, before they write for 30 minutes. To ensure that all children participate, children can fulfill the writing portion of the program by making a story from pictures. Also as part of the program, we will arrange a visit for a professional storyteller to conduct an hour-long storytelling workshop. Throughout the program, we will observe and record how engaged students were during the thirty minute writing. All writing will be created in booklet form.

Desired Outcome

Children will be given an attitude scale which will determine how they feel about writing. Whether or not they like writing, find it boring, have trouble thinking about what to write or wish they had more time to write. The children’s work would then be evaluated using a rubric that measures character, setting, problem, plot, conclusion, vocabulary and sentence structure. The same rubric would then be used to evaluate their writing at the end of each week, measuring enjoyment, engagement and skills. The pre-sample and final writing sample would be the measure used to determine the success of the program. Through observation of two thirty-minute writing periods, every 5 minutes we could determine if children are writing, not writing or writing collaboratively. This will also allow us to measure improvement of reluctance to write. The storytelling workshop by professional storyteller would take place between the observations.

This proposal was prepared for the Sunset Park Library. Next ⇒

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