In a kindergarten classroom at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School (PETES), in Gatineau, Quebec, an activity called Storyland provides teacher Heather Balson-Riosa with a rich backdrop to offer up playful natural materials and whimsical stations that will ignite creativity so that her students can build worlds—and then tell stories about them. “It’s magical to them, and they love it,” she says.
Oral storytelling is a bridge to literacy, and by tapping into the vivid imaginations of young learners, teachers can encourage exploration of fundamental story elements like character, setting, and plot—and set students up for reading and writing success.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics’ report on how play enhances development in young children (2018)
- Kayleigh Skene, Christine M. O’Farrelly, Elizabeth M. Byrne, Natalie Kirby, Eloise C. Stevens, and Paul G. Ramchandani’s meta-analysis and review on whether guidance during play can enhance children’s learning and development in educational contexts (2022)
- Rachel Parker, Bo Stjerne Thomsen, and Amy Berry’s article on learning through play at school (2022)
- Miriam Evans and Alyssa R. Boucher’s article on how giving students choice supports their autonomy to foster motivation and engagement in learning (2015)
- Erika A. Patall, Harris Cooper, and Susan R. Wynn’s investigation of the effectiveness and relative importance of choice in the classroom (2010)
- Sandra Laing Gillam et al.’s research on improving oral and written narration and reading comprehension of children at risk for language and literacy difficulties (2023)
- Trina D. Spencer and Chelsea Pierce’s article on the benefits of classroom-based oral storytelling for reading, writing, and social skills (2022)