Storytelling and Common
Schools in most states are now following the Common Core
Those schools who are keeping their state standards
have similar mandates, though details such as the grade levels
for the standards may vary.
How does storytelling fit with these standards?
• For young children the answer is that experts say
children need to hear 1,000 stories before they begin
to learn to read and then to write
• Any age student will learn a standard best if it is embedded
in a story.
• The Position Statement from the National Council of Teachers
of English states:
Storytelling listeners encounter both familiar and new language
patterns through story.
They learn new words or new contexts for already
They subconsciously acquire familiarity with narrative
and begin to predict upcoming events.
Both beginning and experienced readers call on their understanding
as they tackle unfamiliar texts.
Then they can recreate those patterns in both oral and
• Story is the best vehicle for passing on factual
information. Historical figures and events linger in children’s
minds when communicated by way of a narrative.
• The standards mandate classic myths and stories
from around the world
Stories from the folktales of diverse cultures, shared in the
oral tradition, connect the literacy of the spoken word to the
book format of story-sharing, as well as to areas of the social
• Connecting to standards in Speaking and Listening:
Storytelling models communication skills and the narrative
The standards require that students gain, evaluate, and present
increasingly complex information, ideas and evidence through listening
and speaking as well as through media.
• Connecting to standards in Language:
The standards expect that students will grow their vocabularies
through a mix of conversations, direct instruction and reading.
The standards will help students determine word meanings,
appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their repertoire
of words and phrases.
• Storytelling IS communication,
an interactive art that utilizes
the tools of gesture,
to define and enrich the language and meaning of stories.
• Storytelling also encourages comprehension,
and use of diverse words in a growing vocabulary.
• Connecting to standards in Reading:
The standards include adventure stories, folktales, legends,
fables, fantasy, realistic fiction, and myth, all of
which are conveyed through storytelling.
To learn more about storytelling and youth, visit the website:
To read the why the National Council of Teachers of English believes
storytelling is a necessary component in education, here is their
Position Statement: http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/teachingstorytelling