Whether you use the books suggested or other favorites, sharing stories is an important and effective wayto help children think about and understand character attributes. As you share stories, keep in mind the following tips:

Reading Aloud

  • Create a mood of relaxed listening.
  • Cultivate a sense of humor
  • Know your material well.
  • Look at your listeners frequently.
  • Practice clear enunciation, pleasant tone, and pacing that captures the rhythm and conveys moods.
  • Practice timing and expression.

Storytelling

  • Begin by telling a short tale that you love. If you are moved bya story, then you will be able to affect others with it.
  • Listen to yourself tell a story. Know what you can do with your voice.
  • Use descriptive words that create a vivid picture ("He banged down the hall sucking a tart, juicy lemon").
  • Think about the setting of the story-a storyteller must bring a place to life.
  • Be brave enough to use silence to build suspense or indicate lapses of time.
  • Practice your story over and over until you are comfortable with it. But remember, memorizing is not as important as having a feel for the key elements.
  • Respect your audience. Avoid speaking down to them or over their heads.
  • Don't rush.
  • Use simple props and gestures.
  • Consider watching yourself in the mirror
  • Do you repeat the same movements too often? Do you use facial expressions to portray moods and characters?