Storytelling, The Cornerstone of Literacy
The historical time line of storytelling, a description of the qualities of a good storyteller, and the reasons for using storytelling in the classroom are discussed, citing educational research to validate storytelling in the curriculum. Storytelling is presented as a way to foster language development, to increase listening and comprehension skills, and to strengthen retention of factual information. Information isprovided for the classroom teacher to discover storytelling tlaents and to set up a storytelling community within the classroom. Activities are presented to encourage the teacher to guide children to become storytellers. Extension and cross curricular applications are delineated. The structure of an after school storytelling club is described.
DEBRA WELLER is a Kindergarten/First Grade Teacher, Teaching Assistant Principal, Parenting Educator, and Standards Support Curriculum Specialist – Capistrano Unified School District; Professional Storyteller since 1980; Founding Member and member of the Board of Directors of the South Coast Storytellers Guild; Pacific Region Liaison of the National Storytelling Network, Board Member of California Kindergarten Association.
Self-portraits of Kindergarten Children
HILDA PRESENT LEWIS
In the 120 years since research in children’s drawings began, considerable data have been collected and many inferences made about age-related change in drawing and factors to which such change relates. The methodology has, for the most part, been to study sizable groups of children of successive ages, or a single child over a number of years, or children across cultures. The present investigation explores in depth the varation in drawing within a single cohort of kindergarten children from 11 school districts in California.
HILDA P. LEWIS is Professor Emerita of Elementary Education, San Francisco State University.
Collecting and Processing Words: Strategies for Building Vocabulary in Young Children
MICHAEL JORDAN and ADRIENNE HERRELL
Research has found a significant relationship between reading achievement and vocabulary knowledge. In order for children to gain an ample vocabulary, word study needs to start in preschool and kindergarten, where children can be actively engaged in the exploration of vocabulary words. In the program “Collecting Words”, young children are encouraged to collect and process new words in order to build their speaking, listening and writing vocabularies. The collecting of the words is done as a class activity. The words are collected on charts in the classroom and displayed for the children’s use. They are encouraged to act out and use the words in as many different ways as possible and report back to the class the ways in which they found to use the new words. The children’s word processing (usage of the words in various contexts) is documented through a double entry journal either written by the child or dictated to the teacher. Additionally, words from a piece of literature may be explored through much the same process.
MICHAEL JORDAN is Assistant Professor and Multiple Subjects Program Coordinator, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Education Technology, California State University, Fresno. ADRIENNE HERRELL is Professor in the Department of Literacy and Early Education, California State University, Frensno.