“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” said Shakespeare in Sonnet 18, and don’t we know it! Following our gorgeously sunshine-filled April, this bad weather is an unwelcome turn of events to say the least. Having encouraged you all to get outside and enjoy the delights that Spring nature has to offer us, I am now suggesting you stay in and curl up with a hot chocolate and a good book! Praise be then that the month of May is ‘National Share-A-Story Month’, an annual celebration of the power of storytelling and story sharing.
There is something almost magical about the atmosphere that gently settles around you as pages are turned and stories unfold whilst reading together. It was my absolute favourite thing to do with my class and is still my favourite thing to do now with my niece, nephews and godchildren. I’ve yet to find anything that beats the feeling of unity when you are all spellbound together on a journey through the pages of a terrific tale. The shared experience of reading a story helps build relationships and is a wonderful way to spend time together, as well as improving concentration.
Storytelling also aids the language development of children as they listen. Books tend to use a wider variety of words than the day to day language we lean towards when speaking, so not only does it extend their vocabulary and improve their enunciation, children are exposed to someone modelling how to add interest and expression when reading, which they can then implement when reading themselves.
Sharing stories, whether they be imaginary or real stories of history and the world around us, establishes a lifetime love of books, which are a fantastic and valuable source of information, comfort, inspiration, and escapism…whatever the weather!
Check out our friends at the Federation of Children’s Book Groups for more information about National Share a Story Month.