Storytelling And Puppetry
Marilyn Rice, Mary Tobin & Sandy
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Learning Objectives
• Describe the developmental progression
of storytelling
• Explore ways to include storytelling in your
• Develop strategies to use when creating
• Discuss ways for using puppets
throughout the classroom
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Sometimes my hands are at my side,
Then behind my back they hide.
Sometimes I wiggle my fingers so,
Shake them fast and shake them slow.
Sometimes my hands go clap, clap, clap;
The I rest them in my lap
Now they’re quiet as can be
Because it is storytelling time you see!
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WHY Is Storytelling Important?
• The period of birth-8 is a critical time of
intellectual development
• Stimulates imagination and visual imagery
as they image the story
• Develops oral communication skills
• Increases auditory discrimination
• Strengthens listening and pre-reading
• Encourages creativity
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• Promotes visual
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Why is Storytelling important?
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The Power of Storytelling
The Power to remember
The Power to entertain
The Power to teach
The Power to inspire
The Power to create
The Power to revisit
• (Dr. Rebecca Isbell)
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A Story told instead of a story
• The storyteller is able to maintain eye
contact with the children throughout the
• The storyteller can provide immediate
response to the children’s reactions
• The story can be aligned to meet the
audience (explanation, embellishment,
• Storytelling increases the understanding of
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the story
• Storytelling capture’s children’s interest
because the process is so powerful
• A story told allows the listener to develop
visual images
• Oral language provides a foundation for
reading and writing.
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Essential Elements
• The Story
• The Teller
• The Listener
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• Select a story that you like personally. Your
passion for the story will go a long way in the
• The story should teach qualities that make it
worth telling to young children
• The story should match the developmental level
of the children
• Stories that encourage active participation by
listeners are good for beginning
• Children live in the seasons! Establish a story
Free in
center somewhere
your classroom.
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The Teller
• Learn the story & come up with ways to bring the
story to life (Gather materials you need)
• Gather the children around you “Today I am
going to tell you a story. Now, my story will
• Observe the interest of the children and interact
with their responses
• At the end of the telling, ask questions and
discuss happenings
• Provide a follow up activity
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The Listener
• What is the listener doing?
• When is the listener engaged?
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Making storytelling come to life
Motivate the children to come to storytime
Musical instruments, props
Sensory involvement
Build their interest in the story
Ask questions
Refer to concrete things in their life
Tell the story with enthusiasm
Use hand gestures and facial expressions
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• Use rhyme and repetitive text to your
• Use children’s names in stories
• Allow the children to be involved
• Use simple props
• Have a scavenger hunt in the room to find
the “pieces” of the story
• Use photographs to make up a story.
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• Repeat the story!
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• The story should be easy to follow
• Characters should be understandable and
easily defined
• Interesting language patterns are repeated
in the story
• The moral of the story is easily understood
and applies to children
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Sources of Stories
Authored Stories
Family Stories
The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats
Gruff, Teeny Tiny, Johnny Cake
• Stories from Different Cultures
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Developmental Progression in
• Looks at objects in a picture book as they
are named
• Vocalized when objects in a picture book
are names
• Points to objects in a book
• Names objects in a picture book
• Names common objects in a picture book
• Names common actions in a picture book
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Developmental Progression, con’t..
Tells stories about personal experiences
Tells stories about imaginary experiences
Uses spoken dialogue when telling stories
Tells story in a sequence with a beginning,
middle and end
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• Know your story
• If you don’t know your story ahead of
time…how you will you know when to….
• Pause?
• What questions to ask?
• What your characters might sound like?
• When to change the tone of your voice to
show emotions?
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• When to add sound
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• By listening to others tell stories, you get a
sense of what holds the children's
attention and what does not and what the
children enjoy
• Practice telling your story – you can not
get better without practice!
• Tape record yourself…
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Getting started with storytelling
• Involve the children in discussing the story
before you tell the story & acknowledge
the children’s responses
• Introduce the story setting and characters
• Introduce the story theme
• Use props to help children remember the
• Prompt children to recall story details
• Use a prop forFree
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• Staples: scarves, sheets, hats, funny
glasses, blankets, parachutes
• Utilize your clothes from dramatic play!
• Real items
• Musical Instruments
• Stuffed animals, toys
• Homemade Items, household items
• Puppets
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Story retelling
• Can be the whole class, small group or an
individual child.
• Clothesline props technique for visual
• Teacher can tell the story and children can
act out
• Offer open-ended prompts such as
“Where did the story take place?”; “What
happened next?” or “Tell me more about
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this character”.
Children as Storytellers
• Have a special place in the classroom
where teachers can retell stories
• Children who have regularly listened to
stories will be interested in telling their own
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• Sight – turn out the lights, use colored
• Sound – background music
• Smell – candle
• Taste – foods that relate to the story
• Touch - items relevant to the story that the
children can hold, touch
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Curriculum Integration
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
• Art – open ended (have children draw the story)
• Cooking – Make oatmeal
• Pretend Play – bowls, spoons, bears of different
• Math – Bear Manipulatives
• Science/Sensory – Oats in the Tub
• Blocks – Add stuffed beards
• Language arts – Flannel Board Story # bears
• Music & Movement – Going on A bear Hunt
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• An ancient form of oral
• Passed down from
families; binds cultures
• Puppetry augments
storytelling by providing
visualization & surprise
• Puppets are used for
education,therapy and
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• They are often psychological props
• They give children something to hide
behind when speaking
• Allow children to become someone else
• Help children problem solve
• Offer 2 ways for children to be creative;
making the puppet and making the puppet
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• Foster social interaction and
• Foster role playing and imagination
• Foster listening skills
• Facilitate in maintaining attention
• Provide a visual and kinesthetic
• Are often underused in ECE classrooms!
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Puppet Uses
• Leading a song
• Teaching positional
concepts (above,
below, next to, in front
• Tape record/video
children using
puppets and then
write down their story
• Puppet Theatre
• Have a specific
puppet for each
center area
• Felt board stories and
• Dramatize holiday
• Represent particular
ethnic customs
• Roles of community
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Glove/ Mitten
Wooden Spoon
Toilet paper roll
Paper Bag
Hand Shadows
Styrpfoam Ball
Paper Plate
Paint Stick
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Getting Started With Puppets
• Introduce the puppets and let them children just
explore them for awhile
• Add a simple puppet stage when you feel the
children are ready
• Give homemade puppets a name
• Give different puppets a responsibility in the
classroom (calling roll, signaling transitions,
coming to group time)
• Puppets can be special visitors
• A few good puppets are better than 50 bad
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Final Thoughts…
• The key to successful storytelling with
young children is to involve them in the
whole experience!
• Make the children feel they are a part of
the process and a part of the story.
How will you get started???
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