Just as children love for adults to read to them, they also love to hear a good story by an excited, animated storyteller. In some ways, good storytelling has become a lost art. In this world of constant entertainment provided by our electronic gadgets, story telling may seem kind of boring. Yet if done well, children will be just as captivated as they were in years past!
So what does it take to be a good storyteller? Here are a few suggestions:
- Know the story well. Before you tell the Bible story to the children, be sure that you have read and re-read it directly from the scriptures. This not only helps for the sake of accuracy, but for your fluency in telling the story.
- Practice before you tell it to the children. Go over the story a couple of times aloud before class.
- Keep an open Bible as you tell the story. We want children to know that what you are telling them is a true story from God’s word, not just a fun, fictional tale.
- Maintain good eye contact with the children.
- Observe the children as you speak and make changes or clarify vocabulary as needed to help with comprehension.
- Help children visualize. Use vivid descriptions & details of people, places, & events.
- Keep it simple. Use appropriate vocabulary for listeners.
- Be expressive visually. Use exaggerated facial expressions or gestures to convey happiness, fear, worry, or excitement.
- Be expressive verbally. Use your voice tone, pitch, and inflection to give excitement to the story.
- Encourage interaction and participation through questions.
- Use props & costumes. You can pull props out of the pocket of a story apron such as a rubber snake (Garden of Eden), a lion (Daniel) or a small golden calf (Moses) when telling your lesson. Sandboxes are great when telling the wise and foolish man or the Israelites wandering. Objects such as a crown of thorns, a replica of an ark, or a coat of many colors will make a great impression on your students.
Just remember that your excitement and enthusiasm is contagious! All the effort you put it to telling the story will be remembered by your students for years to come!
The picture above was taken during our VBS this year in the preschool story room. Love the sets & costumes!