Learning and teaching the storytelling way?
At StoryWays Literacy, our goal is to support excellence in the craft of literacy teaching.
We bring together a wealth of knowledge and ideas from a growing community of storytellers in education and educators embracing storytelling. Our training, mentoring and coaching, and a 'business for good' model offer educators proven pedagogies that place oracy as the centre of all learning and teaching. We help teachers to gain the knowledge, confidence and skill to be great storytelling teachers.
Since the beginning of our human journey, we have been storytellers.
It is innate to our human condition to tell stories, to listen to stories, and to think in story. Stories are how we learn about the world and about our place in that world. Stories help us to learn who we are and to better understand others both near and far.
Parenting and teaching are greatly enhanced when we appreciate the power of storytelling.
Spoken language is a crucial element of children’s literacy learning and holistic education. Storytelling can be used to encourage social skills and thinking skills, to support the development of emotional literacy and to deliver curriculum content in a meaningful way. To be a great storytelling teacher is to know and hold true to this holistic view.
The methods we advocate ensure that children LISTEN to great stories and from there to learn to tell them.
For, carried within a great story is a treasury of words and ideas. With these words and ideas, our children can become fluent, articulate communicators. Furthermore, we cannot expect to improve READING comprehension and attainment in WRITING if we do not first deliver effective strategies for teaching our children to TALK. In giving each child an equal opportunity to learn their language, they can transcend socio-economic and political barriers and make their way confidently into adulthood.
To help them make this journey we must place 'talk' and oracy skills at the centre of learning and teaching.
“He mana tō te kupu”
“Words have great power” - a whakataukītanga kōrero (proverbial saying)
If you wonder what we mean by children as storytellers, here’s an example of a 6-year-old student practising her story of The Two Dragons. She is using her story map for support but as you can hear she is already fluent and expressive in her telling. The words, the mood and the ideas of the story are becoming hers. She has an active memory of this story which will greatly enhance her ability to work with this story in writing.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
At Hampstead, we are noting an improvement in writing and in oral language, especially sequencing and vocabulary development. We are enjoying being able to incorporate Storytelling across our Curriculum and make meaningful connections within play-based learning. The Professional Development presented by Liz has been practical and ‘hands on.’ Liz is keen to ‘show’ as well as ‘tell’ and we have had the benefit of her expertise in our classrooms. For us, Storytelling is providing an innovative and motivating Writing Programme.
Liz Swanson has been instrumental in supporting our Kahui Ako to establish rich, coherent literacy learning pathways. This engaging programme has motivated both our tamariki and staff. The sound structures with an appropriate level of scope have ensured we get the most out of this programme whilst still allowing authentic teacher autonomy in delivering a storytelling approach to accelerate our target learners.
Malvern CoL Leader
Liz, your expertise, your smile and your irrepressible enthusiasm for students will be sorely missed! You have been a true treasure for us in every way and have huge differences in the learning of our kids. We couldn't have done it without you.
Good luck with your next big adventure.
Learning Advisor –
Ao Tawhiti Discovery
We had a wonderful visit from a couple of our new entrant children on Friday with their maps and they were able to 'step out' their story for us. One of these children is very quiet and started school with limited oral language, so it was delightful to see his confidence using the storytelling strategies.