Day Two Productions has yet another story from around the world. The Great Turnip features master storyteller Katrice Horsley telling a story directly to your child – no gimmicks, no sound effects, just the storyteller enrapturing your child through the expressive use of words, gestures, facial expressions and direct eye contact. It is a tale about a farmer who plants a turnip that grows too large to pick and how the problem is resolved. These types of ‘progressive’ stories increase memory development and good listening skills.
Each activity for this app was developed by teachers and should match what your child is already familiar with from their classroom. One of our favorite parts is being able to record the story in your own words with support from picture clues. Confidence is built while mimicking and re-telling parts, or for experienced storytellers, all of a story in their own creative way.
Successful reading and writing depend on the child being able to speak and listen well first – this app offers the perfect opportunity to practice both!
Activity 1: String Together a Tall Tale
One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting around the dinner table and listening to my Dad tell us stories about his day. He was a high school math teacher and amazing at keeping us hanging on every word.
One day whales would be swimming down the hallway after a leak in the roof flooded the building. Then there was the time when bees where flying around the gym, which he turned into a tale about playing badminton with bumblebees as the birdies. A really long tale emerged when we started questioning him about the day the teachers turned into the knights of the round table. Never a dull moment.
Storytelling can be as simple as talking about your day or retelling a favorite book at bedtime. What is important is that your children hear you tell and retell stories. After listening to you they will naturally start to engage in storytelling themselves. Being a good storyteller builds confidence, language, and transfers into strong writing skills.
Activity 2: Great Books for Storytelling
Start with the classics, the stories you already know by heart. If your parents told them to you then they are excellent for your children to hear too.
Some other familiar tales:
• The Little Red Hen
• Where the Wild Things Are