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How to Tell Stories to Children & Some Stories to Tell

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How to Tell Stories to Children & Some Stories to Tell

Sara Cone Bryant explains the principle behind story telling especially as it is related to children. Various proven methods
are discussed. Additionally, there are sample stories with guidelines on how to tell stories to young people so they can remember them and learn from them.

Contents

INTRODUCTION
PAGE
The Story-teller's Art
Recent Revival
The Difference between telling a Story and reading it aloud
Some Reasons why the Former is more effective 11

CHAPTER I

THE PURPOSE OF STORY-TELLING IN SCHOOL

Its immediate Advantages to the Teacher
Its ultimate Gifts to the Child 19

CHAPTER II

SELECTION OF STORIES TO TELL

The Qualities Children like, and why
Qualities necessary for Oral Delivery
Examples: The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs,
The Old Woman and her Pig
Suggestions as to the Type of Story
especially useful in the several primary Grades
Selected List of familiar Fairy Tales 43

CHAPTER III

ADAPTATION OF STORIES FOR TELLING

How to make a long Story short
How to fill out a short Story
General Changes commonly desirable
Examples: The Nürnberg Stove, by Ouida;
The King of the Golden River, by Ruskin;
The Red Thread of Courage,
The Elf and the Dormouse
Analysis of Method 67

CHAPTER IV

HOW TO TELL THE STORY

Essential Nature of the Story
Kind of Appreciation necessary
Suggestions for gaining Mastery of Facts
Arrangement of Children
The Story-teller's Mood
A few Principles of Method, Manner and Voice,
from the psychological Point of View 93

CHAPTER V

SOME SPECIFIC SCHOOLROOM USES

Exercise in Retelling
Illustrations cut by the Children as Seat-work
Dramatic Games
Influence of Games on Reading Classes 117

STORIES SELECTED AND ADAPTED FOR TELLING

ESPECIALLY FOR KINDERGARTEN AND CLASS I.

Nursery Rhymes 133
Five Little White Heads 134
Bird Thoughts 134
How we came to have Pink Roses 135
Raggylug 135
The Golden Cobwebs 138
Why the Morning-Glory climbs 142
The Story of Little Tavwots 143
The Pig Brother 145
The Cake 148
The Pied Piper of Hamelin Town 149
Why the Evergreen Trees keep their Leaves in Winter 156
The Star Dollars 159
The Lion and the Gnat 161

ESPECIALLY FOR CLASSES II. AND III.

The Cat and the Parrot 168
The Rat Princess 172
The Frog and the Ox 175
The Fire-Bringer 176
The Burning of the Ricefields 179
The Story of Wylie 182
Little Daylight 186
The Sailor Man 199
The Story of Jairus's Daughter 201

ESPECIALLY FOR CLASSES IV. AND V.

Arthur and the Sword 204
Tarpeia 208
The Buckwheat 210
The Judgment of Midas 211
Why the Sea is salt 213
Billy Beg and his Bull 221
The Little Hero of Haarlem 233
The Last Lesson 238
The Story of Christmas 243

THE CHILD-MIND; AND HOW TO SATISFY IT

A short List of Books in which the Story-teller will find
Stories not too far from the Form in which they are
needed 247

Book Excerpts:

If you have never seen an indifferent child aroused or a hostile one conquered to affection by a beguiling tale, you can hardly appreciate the truth of the first statement; but nothing is more familiar in the story-teller's experience. An amusing, but--to me--touching experience recently reaffirmed in my mind this power of the story to establish friendly relations.

My three-year-old niece, who had not seen me since her babyhood, being
told that Aunt Sara was coming to visit her, somehow confused the expected
guest with a more familiar aunt, my sister. At sight of me, her rush of welcome relapsed into a puzzled and hurt withdrawal, which yielded to no explanations or proffers of affection.

All the first day she followed me about at a wistful distance, watching me as if I might at any moment turn into the well-known and beloved relative I ought to have been. Even by undressing time I had not progressed far enough to be allowed intimate approach to small sacred nightgowns and diminutive shirts.

The next morning, when I opened the door of the nursery where her maid was brushing her hair, the same dignity radiated from the little round figure perched
on its high chair, the same almost hostile shyness gazed at me from the great expressive eyes. Obviously, it was time for something to be done.

Disregarding my lack of invitation, I drew up a stool, and seating myself
opposite the small unbending person, began in a conversational murmur: "M--m, I guess those are tingly-tanglies up there in that curl Lottie's combing; did you ever hear about the tingly-tanglies?

They live in little girls' hair, and they aren't any bigger than that, and when anybody tries to comb the hair they curl both weeny legs round, so, and hold on tight with both weeny hands, so, and won't let go!" As I paused, my niece made a queer little sound indicative of query battling with reserve.

I pursued the subject: "They like best to live right over a little girl's ear, or down in her neck, because it is easier to hang on, there; tingly-tanglies are very smart, indeed."

"What's ti-ly-ta-lies?" asked a curious, guttural little voice.

I explained the nature and genesis of tingly-tanglies, as revealed to me some decades before by my inventive mother, and proceeded to develop their
simple adventures. When next I paused the small guttural voice demanded,
"Say more," and I joyously obeyed.

When the curls were all curled and the last little button buttoned, my baby niece climbed hastily down from her chair, and deliberately up into my lap. With a caress rare to her habit she spoke my name, slowly and tentatively, "An-ty Sai-ry?" Then, in an assured tone, "Anty Sairy, I love you so much I don't know what to do!" And, presently, tucking a confiding hand in mine to lead me to breakfast, she explained sweetly, "I didn' know you when you comed las' night, but now I know you all th' time!"

"Oh, blessed tale," thought I, "so easy a passport to a confidence so desired, so complete!" Never had the witchery of the story to the ear of a child come more closely home to me. But the fact of the witchery was no new experience. The surrender of the natural child to the story-teller is as absolute and invariable as that of a devotee to the priest of his own sect.

This power is especially valuable in the case of children whose natural shyness has been augmented by rough environment or by the strangeness of foreign habit. And with such children even more than with others it is also true that the story is a simple and effective means of forming the habit of concentration, of fixed attention; any teacher who deals with this class of children knows the difficulty of doing this fundamental and indispensable thing, and the value of any practical aid in doing it.

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