ECE III – Storytelling Vocabulary Words
Storytelling: Reciting a story or reading a book out loud.
Picture Books: books having single words or simple sentences and simple plots
Story Books: books that contain pictures but have more complex plots then picture
Family Life Stories: Books containing the theme of social understanding
Animal Stories: books giving animals some human qualities. Usually, the animal has
some unusual success or ability.
Fairy Tales: Books having a theme of achievement. The characters or heroes of these
stories must perform difficult tasks in order to succeed.
Flannel Books: A board covered with felt or flannel that is used as a background for
placing felt characters and props to tell a story.
Flip Charts: stories drawn on large tag board cards used for storytelling. Drawings
are done during the actual telling of the story.
Reviews: Lists and descriptions of books, which can be found in public libraries, on
line, amazon.com, and publishers webpages.
Props: Items that relate to the story and would attract the children’s attention.
The Importance of Storytelling
Regular storytelling promotes children’s cognitive, social, and emotional
development. Story telling helps young children
Understand the world in which they live
Understand other people
Develop a positive attitude towards books
Develops listening skills
Build correct concepts of objects and forms new ideas
Increase vocabulary
Associate written and spoken words
Understand that print carries meaning
Develop an appreciation of printed words
Learn the difference between everyday conversation and written language
Understand that letters can be capital or small
Develop a desire to read
Learn that people read from left to right
Carefully chosen stories are a key part of the storytelling experience. Stories should draw
on the children’s background to help them understand themselves and to learn the words
to describe their feelings and experiences.
Selecting Books for Children
1. Fictional Content: stories should reflect the children’s developmental level,
backgrounds, and experiences. Consider the illustrations, content, vocabulary,
durability, and length of book. Until children are about five they are often not
ready for fantasy. Do not have personification in the books at this age.
2. Illustrations: pictures and text should be integrated and create interest and
stimulate the children’s imagination. They should be brightly colored and use the
pictures to help describe the story.
3. Vocabulary: Most children easily understand a good book that uses words that
create a sense of wonder with a few new words being introduced. Repetition of
words is key to increase the enjoyment of the story and rhyming words hook the
child’s attention such as mother goose rhymes.
4. Durability: pages and cover of book must be sturdy made of strong materials that
can be washed off and are easy to a handle with a dull finish to keep the glare
down. Book binding should be flat.
5. Length: infants and toddler attention span is only a few minutes with a book.
Books should be only a few pages long. 2 yr old – 5-8 minutes; 3 yr old: 6-10
min; 4 yr old: 8-12 min; 5 yr old: 10-15 min. interest is reflected in the number of
pages in the book.
6. Selecting a book based on age.
2 year old
3 year old
4 year old
5 year old
Thick pages, Large, clearly
Imitate familiar sounds,
Include things
Include humor in
Add something to
defined pictures
Repeat children’s own
and people
reality, Contain new
their knowledge,
Brightly colored pictures of experiences, Contain
outside of the
words, Explain the
take them beyond
simple, familiar objects
large pages with big
how and why,
the here and now,
and routines
pictures, include the
Explain the
include exaggeration
Contain new
familiar simple plots
who and why,
information and
Interpret the
relate it to familiar
child’s own
sound words
Avoid stories that stereotype people. Read the story and study them
prior to using them with the children to ensure there is no bias,
sexism, racism, or religious affiliation.
Reading stories to children
Preparing to Read
1. Read the story several times before you so you know it well and can glimpse
at it when reading to children. This will allow you to make eye contact with
children during story time. Make sure you are in a comfortable setting, free
from distractions, have a seating arrangement will cut down on distractions.
Children need time to settle down prior to reading so have a discussion with
them about the day so far or sing a song.
2. Introducing the story: set the mood of the story, ask questions, make personal
comments, or show the book cover to get children involved this should be
brief a few sentences is enough. Use props to introduce the story such as
puppets, or items from the story to bring it alive. Explain words that are new
vocabulary and create a feeling that something special is about to be read use
facial expression and voice infections to help with the story.
3. Reading the story: Use your voice to make the story interesting. Do not be to
loud or to soft but use it to bring emphasis to things that are important and
make a dramatic pause to encourage curiosity. Point out illustrations
occasionally and ask the students their opinion on things as you go through
the book. “What do you think will happen next?” Ask about previous parts of
the book.
4. Handling interruptions: Ignore wiggling and keep reading. Use positive
discipline such as I like how _______ is sitting so quietly. Accept
interruptions and answer questions patiently.
5. Maintaining Interest: If children do not like the story go faster. If they are
enjoying it slow down and ask questions and start a conversation. If you
notice someone bored get them involved through questioning.
6. Ending Stories: Make sure your ending is clear. Ask a question such as : “
What do you like best about the story? Or “Thank you for listening to the
story” Be prepared to read the story over and over again if they liked it.
7. Different ways to teach a story: Draw and tell, tapes, puppets, flipcharts, slide