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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Telling a Story

You can become a master storyteller by incorporating some of the following into your narration:

  • Choose books and stories that are fun and enjoyable for both you and your child.
  • Become familiar with the story before reading it.
  • Arouse your child's curiosity by placing an object from the story in a "mystery" bag or box. Have your child guess what it is without looking.
  • Capture your child's attention by using a hand puppet to tell the story.
  • Read the story slowly and clearly.
  • Ham it up by changing the tempo, volume, and expression of your voice for different characters.
  • Allow plenty of time for your child to look at the pictures and ask questions. (Little ones are more interested in the illustrations.)
  • Do not feel you must read verbatim. Tell the story in your own words if that will make it more entertaining.
  • Have your child supply sound effects for stories about animals or transportation vehicles.
  • Directly involve your child by stopping periodically and asking such questions as, "What do you think (the main character) is going to do now?" "What would you do?"
  • Discuss the difference between real-life and make- believe.
  • Be aware of your child's cues and read only as long as your child appears to be interested.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems