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Story making and Storytelling in the Library

One of the joys of childhood is an uninhibitied imagination. But how long are we able to hold on to this? How quickly we get jaded, often hampered by what is 'correct', what is 'acceptable', what is 'normal'.

It is that free imagination that helps creativity grow. Creativity that is required in any profession we may take up as an adult.

So while we look at the 3R's, IQ, EQ and other such buzzwords being developed in the school years, how much importance do we give to holding onto and developing the imagination?

The school library can offer children...especially the younger ones, the scope to create freely, without the restriction that correct spelling and grammar can put on their imagination. As a library educator, I try to hold on to and encourage the children's imagination, unhindered.

There are may books that offer an opportunity to ‘extend’ the story at the end, enabling children to create their own endings.

‘Because a Little Bug went KA-CHOO!’ BY Rosetta Stone, illustrated by Micheal Firth and part of the Cat in the Hat Beginner Book series, is an old gem, which fits this bill perfectly.

The mere sneeze of a bug triggers a chain reaction involving, a seed, a coconut tree, a turtle, policemen and an entire circus parade, among others.

I love these old classics. They have a certain charm about them and are the kind of books that make children fall in love with reading.

The story is absolutely delightful and they offer scope for making the story the readers own.

Short, delightful picture books like this one, offer book joy and the excitement to create, write and share.

So much can happen during a story session/library class, other than the story.

Children can work together.

Listen to their team mates ideas.

Brainstorm together.

Write. (reading is the precursor to writing. By insisting that the children write down their ideas and their story, we encourage them to write stories they may be holding within them)

Share…not just the story, but also their spot in the ‘limelight’ with their team members. (it was delightful to see some of them prompt and encourage their teammates who were not as confident)

And one I consider very important…listening. To listen to the others stories, delight in them, share encouragement and appreciate different ideas.

The library or story session can offer so much learning that goes beyond the book.

What are your favourite take aways from a story/read aloud session, that are not ‘academic’? Do comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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So helpful to see the samples of the students' expressions, especially the working in pairs video. How I wish this approach could be normalized, across ages as well. Big thank you to your students. I wonder how many of them want to be library educators in future? Maybe they will start this summer vacation in their own neighbourhoods, following your example.

JoAnne Saldanha
JoAnne Saldanha
Mar 05, 2023
Replying to

This is the sweetest comment, Anne. I always hope that sometime in the future, when they are adults that they are still reading or maybe even writing and think of their sessions at the library with joy.

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