What’s your favorite memory of your childhood? I am sure many memories would surface however, there’s one that every child and grown-up has – the STORIES! The bedtime stories, the moral stories, the folk tales, the religious stories and the historical ones, all of them were a part of our childhood.
As a child, I relished story time more than any other activity, for that reason when I had my son I made it a point to include stories in his bedtime ritual. When my son was about to start preschool, we had already started our bedtime story sessions, every night we’ll give each other a few characters and then we made stories with the characters given to us.
My son would say – “Ok mom, tonight you have to tell a story that has, a pirate, a mermaid, an elephant and the president. Imagine how I pulled that one off, Phew!! That was indeed a tricky one!”
Seems irrelevant and inconsequential, does it? Well, look at it from this point of view – the story telling session gives my son an opportunity to express his thoughts, views and creativity, while also giving me an insight into his clever little mind. Every day through these stories I get to understand him a little better, I am able to see the world through his eyes, I am inculcating values, morals and creativity in his early years and I believe that this is helping me in guiding him towards a better way of life.
As pleased as I was with this daily ritual, I often wondered how wonderful it would be if stories were a part of early education. While my desire is reasonable I do understand that it may be unfeasible for a preschool teacher to personally ask each student about a list of characters and build a story around it. It would take hours to entertain every young learner in the class with this activity. Yet, how I wish this could be possible.
Like me many other parents believe in the idea of stories as a learning tool for early childhood education, such is the notion behind dreaming stories. These stories are the tales and legends of the land, people living in the land and their cultural heritage.
Dreaming stories are used as a catalyst for early learning in Australia and other Aboriginal Nations’. The early educators using this ingenious resource utilize these stories to introduce young learners to a vast set of concepts, including but not limited to:
- At the outset, children learn about quite a few emotional concepts through dreaming stories, for instance, they learn about the consequences of lying and envy and the importance of justice and sharing with others.
- They also learn to value diversity in languages, traditions, ethnicity and appearances.
- The dreaming stories also promote skills like – communication, collaboration and joint effort.
- Early learners get to explore different ideas through art, pictures, music and automated designs.
- Some real time lessons given to young learners with dreaming storied are – a lesson in all four seasons, earth, sun and moon and other concepts related to environmental awareness.
The best preschools and play school franchise adopt the dreaming stories preschool development program with the guidance and support of preschool accreditation agencies like QualityKG. The preschool accreditation standards enforced by QualityKG ensure that the early learners get globally relevant and well-researched curriculum for their overall development. The innovative teaching approach of dreaming stories is also an important teaching methodology in QualityKG preschools.
The dreaming stories aren’t just your run-of-the-mill myths or fables; rather they are an oral-book enriched with knowledge, theology, and astuteness, from centuries ago. These stories refer to a number of themes and topics and are appropriate for children of all ages. They are planned with well thought-out and important lessons for young learners.
For instance, a dreaming story called “First Platypus Aboriginal Story” covers up to 15 or more topics through a single narrative. The topics covered include – the spiritual context, traditions, psychology and behavior of mammals, facts about the county or area, type of culture, food provisions and ability to survive.
How to implement ‘dreaming stories’ concept in preschools:
- When early educators tell stories to little learners, the narrator must not give any rationalization of the facts or the meaning behind them. The stories have an inherent meaning attached to them and the students should be encouraged to find that meaning for themselves.
- In order to develop a clear understanding of the ancient heritage of aboriginal stories, the young learners must look at them in different ways. This can be done through oral narration or narration through dance, music, plays, painting, poems and words.
- Before staring a dreaming story session the early educators must be clear about what areas they want the students to explore, from culture to lifestyle the dreaming stories cater to all aspects of life.
- Early educators can use these stories to teach their students about historical events. After all you can’t go anywhere unless you know where you came from. These stories are a great way to introduce young learners to their roots.
- To boost the imaginative prowess and creativity of children, the educators can ask the students to form their own stories based on certain key ideas shared in class discussions.
To cut the long story short:
As a parent of a bright preschooler or an early educator, take an opportunity to fill their young minds with a creative spark enlightened by the magic of the written word. Take the little ones out, sit with them under a tree in the afternoon or around a bonfire at night and swap stories about war and peace, love and faith, culture and heritage with the young listeners. As a storyteller your role won’t just be limited to entertaining them but to saving their traditions, while enlightening the budding generation in the past, values and teachings of their forefathers.