Sunday, October 10, 2010

Story time tips

I'm always looking for new ways to keep kids engaged during story time. Right now we have mostly boys, age 4 - 8. Keeping five energetic little boys still for five seconds sometimes feels like an insurmountable task and it can make story time a bit of a challenge. Here are some things I have found to work:

  • Introduce the story by asking a question related to the kids' daily lives. Kids love to answer questions when they know the answer, and this will serve to engage your most energetic kids because they will for sure be first to put up their hand! You can then make a direct transition from this question into telling the story.

  • Know the story well enough to not need to read it. This helps to keep eye contact with the kids and allows your hands to be free to make gestures or use props, etc.

  • Use props! Even something simple can help direct kids' attention and imagination toward the story.

  • Exaggerate the tone of your voice, and act the part as you go. This really draws in the kids and keeps them entertained. Don't be afraid to look a bit silly either!

  • A simple map drawn on a chalk board can help with stories that involve characters going to and from different places. It makes it more concrete when you can point to Jerusalem, and show the path the characters walked from A to B.

  • Encourage questions and comments during the story because it shows the kids are engaged.
What are some of the challenges of your class? And what have you found to work?

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