Dramatic Storytelling and Literacy

Dramatic Storytelling and Literacy

This article describes a method of exploring and expanding literacy using dramatic storytelling techniques. In this program, we paired drama teaching artists with teachers to engage young students in literacy-based exercises in a unique and fun way. You can download the report here: Dramatic Storytelling and Literacy

Excerpt: We define dramatic storytelling as a collective, shared, collaborative storytelling with a connection to a real book. In our examples, the appropriate age range for this style of dramatic storytelling is traditionally suitable for ages three to seven. For our design, we utilized local dramatic teaching artists to come in and work alongside teachers in classrooms. Our goal was to have classroom teachers able to lead the exercises, in their regular classrooms, largely unassisted by the teaching artists, by the end of the program. In our model of dramatic storytelling, the primary storyteller, the teaching artist or adult, has the trajectory of the story arc based on an actual text, but the details are created by the children through a shared storytelling experience. Research suggests that reading and storytelling have a complementary relationship with one another with regard to language development and story comprehension; the two methods offer different benefits and combined with one another, provide an additive effect on overall reading development . (Isbell et al., 2004). Therefore, as a fusion of reading and storytelling, dramatic storytelling is likely able to strengthen both sets of skills.