Sample of text to be translated from English to greek:
The role of RITUALS
Children feel comfort in a regulated day. Especially in a world that changes constantly and rapidly a ritual can be simply defined as a moment celebrating something that stays constant. For example story time at a fixed hour of the day is a way that can help children to handle transition. For example in the afternoon before leaving the day-care/preschool or after the sleep break as a soft wake-up. All of us change permanently. This kind of “check-in circles” /rituals allow us to witness one another’s transformations, while also celebrating what stays constant in our connection.
“The goal of rituals is connection.
Rituals create sacred space designated for togetherness and unity.”
Also the incredible enthusiasm for repetition of children in the 12-18 month age group can be explained with their need for familiar, reassuring and predictable elements. Furthermore research has proven children learn best through repetition, as it establishes neural connections.
Questions for self-reflection
What could be an appropriate moment for regular storytelling in your school?
Do you have a suitable space?
What could you do to create an appropriate space?
What imaginative character will you choose when becoming a storyteller?
How could you involve your colleagues?
How could you document the process?
The role of INTERACTION
Storytelling is not just a listing experience; it is an interactive participation process. Without a book between you and a group of children it is easier to make direct eye contact.
Avoiding eye contact is the natural human behaviour we don’t want to communicate with someone. This is why masterful storytellers do use their eyes not only the check on the reaction of the audience. Generally children will mirror the expression of the storyteller. Try to spend equal time making eye contact with each child so that nobody feels excluded.
Making “faces” is an essential story telling technique.
Experienced storyteller explain that they can read the faces and emotions, a kind of call-and-response takes place between them and the listeners: if you jump up and raise your voice, children react with excitement. If you begin to whisper they come closer. This effect-reaction play is a form of communication that creates unity at the gathering.
Furthermore when telling a story you can invite children at appropriate times to physically engage in the story’s action: They rock back and forth in their places, pretending to sit on a horse - they put their fingers around their eyes pretending to wear glasses. When telling a story, educators can find many moments to intensify through performance.
You can develop a “vocabulary of gestures” and make it real as suggested by preschool teacher Doriet Berkowits (2011). The movements combined with a character or situation helps children to remember the story and its sequence (kinaesthetic learning). “Tell stories with refrains or dialogues that repeat and can be easily remembered and predicted by children”. Children who gesture learn words sooner .
A very important point coming directly from Berkowit’s experience: “understand that children may interrupt because they are fully engaged and wish to contribute their ideas. Find ways to incorporate their ideas in the story without losing momentum”.
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