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Narrating and Reading Folktales and Picture Books: Storytelling Techniques and Approaches with Preschool Children

Author(s): Triantafillia Natsiopoulou | Mimis Souliotis | Argyris G. Kyridis

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Young Children | Parents | Reading | Storytelling

This article examines the approaches to storytelling used by Greek parents with their preschool children. The first part of the article discusses the types of stories chosen and the reading approaches employed by the parents. The second part examines the extratextual interactions between parents and children related to content during storytelling. One hundred twelve stories were chosen by parents and told to their preschool children in one-to-one settings in their homes. These sessions were recorded by students and later analyzed. The families chose the stories, and no recommendation was made to parents about the type of story or approach they would use to tell the story. The stories were classified as narration, which involved telling stories to children without using books, or story reading, which involved reading books. Results indicate that the way in which a story was told and the characteristics of the extratextual interactions between parents and children depended on a parent’s educational status. Almost all parents with a higher educational background employed story reading, whereas parents with a lower educational background mostly preferred narration. The quantity and quality of verbal exchanges between adults and children during storytelling were also affected by the approach used and the educational status of the parents. Reading stories motivated more verbal exchanges than narrating stories. Extratextual interactions during storytelling were more common among parents with a higher educational background than among parents with a lower educational background; however, of the total number of extratextual interactions, only a small percentage were categorized as high-level abstraction (bridging, elaboration, and predicting). Most extratextual interactions were described as low-level abstraction (children's feedback, asking for label, intervention for drawing attention, and clarifying), regardless of the approach employed by the parents or their educational status. Results suggest that for the Greek families involved in this research, storytelling is a child-centered activity that meets the entertainment needs of the child.
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