Resources for telling stories to kids ages 5-8
December 23, 2019 9:16 AM   Subscribe

I tell stories to kids professionally. I've written a bunch of stories that have science concepts in them and together with some inventions I've made I put on a show for them. My stories work great for kids ages 9 and up or so, but I often get asked to perform to students in US grades K-2 (ages 5-8) and I sometimes lose these younger audiences. What resources should I seek out to improve my performances for these kids?

I write my own material for the show, so I'm not interested in collections of stories for the sake of learning the stories, but I'd love to be directed to videos or audio of great performances to young children by storytellers, and I am particularly interested in scholarly books and articles about childhood development that can be understood by a non-expert.

I know broadly how to improve - I need simpler stories, with simpler vocabulary, more audience participation (through hand gestures, or songs, or through having them shout out a missing word in the story, etc), and I need to steer clear of anything remotely scary. But having specific examples, as well as justifications for these decisions, would be really helpful.
posted by Archibald Edmund Binns to Education (1 answer total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Child handling for the childless nurse - short Tumblr post about dealing with kids of different ages.
Age 6 - 10: Really cool, actually. I did not realize kids were this cool. Around this age they tend to be fairly outgoing, and super curious and eager to learn. Absolutely do not babytalk; instead, flatter them with how grown-up they are, teach them some Fun Gross Medical Facts, and introduce potentially frightening experiences with “hey, you want to see something really cool?”
Storytelling tips for children with Dr. Jean - video aimed at the younger end, and full of ideas/methods to keep kids engaged if they're not as used to just listening to someone talk.

NY Library Brings Drag Queens to Kids Story Hour - video, preschool/toddlers, for the most part.

The Role of Book Features in Young Children's Transfer of Information from Picture Books to Real-World Contexts - academic, much of it focuses on preschool but some is older; goes into what kids actually take away from stories.
Children’s understanding of Aesop’s fables - also academic

RAR #95: The Lowdown on Reading Aloud to 4-7 Year Olds - podcast

Here's How Language and Literacy Skills Develop in Kids Ages 6 to 7 Non-academic, focusing on teaching them to read, but with some guidelines for what kinds of sources are helpful for their range of understanding.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:35 AM on December 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older How Satisfied Are You With Your Friendships?   |   The film of the lost decade. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.