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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 26 April 2010
It has come to my attention (probably not a newsflash to anyone else LOL) that while we read a lot of stories at home, and while a lot of stories are read at school~ we often read the same stories (if I have to read 'Olivia Helps with Christmas' one more time, it is APRIL for crying out loud!) or strories of little merit other than that they contain words and are being read (and were cheap or free to the teacher or donated to the library).  Sometimes I feel it is definitely quantity over quality coupled with a push for children to read so early that any books will do, story aside.

But literacy, in the truest sense, has as much to do with story and culture and integration of language and history as it does to do with the technical ability to read.  It is the understanding that goes along with the practical skill. It reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld bit when he rents a car but they fail to hold his reservation.

To understand ourselves and our western culture (not to mention the rest of the world!) and to relate to the big themes of life we need to know the stories and be able to tell stories, too. This means knowing the big stories upon which so much of our culture and language have been built, it means 'getting' the shorthand of common tropes. 
 So, I am putting myself to a new task.
Storytelling (oral/ aural ~ spoken/ heard) as part of our daily life.
We do it. Actually, we do it a lot.
One of our favourite activities is to pick an image from a picture book, or even point out a house or a pedestrian while driving and create stories about them.
But I am talking about Goldilocks and Rumpelstilskin, Aesop and Grimm.
The big ones.
And the Bible. Aside from being a family of faith (Christian) I also believe that the Bible is one of those big stories we need to grasp to be literate in western culture.

I launched merrily into the Three Billy Goats Gruff last night, only to find myself VERY rusty and running back to the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse for safety.   And night time isn't always the best time.  I have always treasured the sleepy morning time when Rowan comes crawling into bed, cuddly and with a fresh curiousity for the new day.  So my plan is to learn more stories and try, most mornings, to begin our day with a story.

I would love your suggestions of favourite tales and resources!


Counting Coconuts said...

Ha! I love that Seinfeld bit, too. :)

I think you're already familiar with Elsa Beskow's books, which have lovely tales within themselves, but they also open doors to new stories, perhaps extensions of what happened to so and so afterwards. Same with Tasha Tudor books. Another imagination provoking series are the Four Seasons books by Gerda Muller. ( They're picture books, but as I say they open up lots of possibilities. Of course children's poetry is another good resource.

Hope those are the kind of suggestion you were looking for! :)

Love your blog and look forward to coming here whenever I see a new post.

Counting Coconuts

Anonymous said...

It's great!!..........................................

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