Storytelling over the 3-day weekend

Hello Friends,

I love a good story.  The way it engages the imagination of the listener.  How, like magic, if you can mix the right words in the right order, it can conjure laughter, suspense, grief, nostalgia, hope, compassion, anger, or even love. One of my favorite poems is by Billy Collins called Marginalia Most of it is about how different types of readers scribble notes into the margins of a book. Students studying for courses scribble, “Irony,” “Metaphor,” or the more enthusiastic reader writes, “Nonsense,” “PLEASE,” or “HA!”   It ends, however, with a teenager reading Catcher in the Rye for the first time, feeling a kindred spirit when he notices fingerprint smudges on the pages and “Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love” written in the margin.


Whether it’s reading a book alone or aloud to someone, listening to a friend or relative recall moments from their lives, there is something magical about sharing a story.  


Although there are numerous studies demonstrating the positive impact reading aloud has on the lives of children (enhances literacy, helps students develop language skills, improves comprehension and interpersonal skills), here is an interesting study arguing the potential added value storytelling from memory has on children.  


So for a fun, new challenge at home, try out your storytelling chops!  Margaret Read MacDonald has published a couple of books with short, easy-to-memorize stories if you want to try a storytelling session without a book in hand. The author’s books are Peace Tales and Earth Cares.  


At our home, the children seem to have a particular affinity for hearing stories from our lives…again and again. How Raphaela and I met or their birth stories are some of their favorites. Our childhood stories (the more embarrassing the better) are also frequently asked for.  Have fun with it!


Have a wonderful 3-day weekend filled with storytelling and out-loud reading!  We will see you on Tuesday!


Jeff Groh

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