BENGALURU: Ameen from Storywallahs and Nisha Abdulla from Ever after Learning share tips
How to start
Begin the storytelling session with a song, says Ameen of Storywallahs. A song sets the mood for a story session. “We usually begin our sessions with Aa Gaya Aa Gaya/Storywallah Aa Gaya/ Aa Gaya Aa Gaya/ Storywallah Aa Gaya,” he says. It is set to the tune of Bappi Lahiri’s song Aa Gaya Aa Gaya, Halwa Waala Aa Gaya. Alternately, use a Christmas song to set the mood.
Act Out the Story
“Instead of reading the story, try to enact the story,” says Ameen. Nisha Abdulla from Ever after Learning, says, “Try standing while telling the story, and use clear actions with your hands for added impact.
To enact, you don’t need to memorise the story word by word. Just remember the sequence of events and narrate in your own words. Story sounds better in your own words.
“Use a different voice for every character in the story,” says Ameen, “for example, a shaky voice for an old person, a feminine voice for a young person, a masculine voice for the authority figure and a nasal voice for the villain.” Nisha agrees. “Children love the drama it lends!” she says.
Make it interactive
Add a chant that the family can sing along to. Or add a call and response (that’s where the listeners have to respond with a pre-practiced word that has been practiced with them earlier
Clap, Snap, Stomp
Try adding movements or actions like clapping, snapping, stomping etc wherever appropriate in the story
Like Your Story
“Most importantly, you need to enjoy the story and it’s telling,” says Nisha.
“Children can always tell instinctively when you’re bored with the story!” Ameen adds, “When you enjoy telling it, others will enjoy listening to it.”
Stories You can Tell
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Dr Suess.
2. The Tailor of Gloucester - Beatrix Potter’s adaptation of The Elves and the Shoemaker by Grimm Brothers
3. Tilly’s Christmas - Louisa May Alcott
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Charles Schulz
5. Christmas Stories - a Scholastic book that includes Christmas stories from India
6. The Overcoat - a Ruskin Bond Story set on Christmas even.
7. The Gift of Magi - O Henry
8. The Little Match Girl - Hans Andersen
9. The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Lucy Wheelock