Pune: The success of engaging and educating children and helping them to reconnect with the roots of tradition was achieved through the International Storytelling Festival organised by Sakal Times. The school segment of the festival concluded on the third day at Bishop’s Co-Ed School (Kalyani Nagar) on Friday.
With a gloomy face after the end of the session and getting back to the school routine, Prateek, a student of Class VII, said, “I have never experienced anything like this before. We were totally involved with the stories. I was especially thrilled with a story from Australia because we had just finished a chapter about Australia in school sometime back and the story refreshed our memories”.
The storytelling session included more than just stories and learning new languages, not only for students but also for the teachers. “For us, as teachers, the most important challenge is grasping the child’s attention and diverting their minds to what we want to say, especially for the younger ones. The teachers’ workshop had tips and tricks for the same. Moreover, they also taught us the importance of actions and rhythms while narrating a story,” said Lucy Velangani, assistant teacher of UKG.
“Storytelling encourages children to listen, which is the most important aspect of education, because without listening, no instructions can be given. So this initiative would help the children in their academic growth and also improve their listening skills. And also, such initiatives should be held across primary schools in the country,” said Shayne McPherson, Principal of Bishop’s Co-Ed School, Kalyani Nagar.
“It’s more demanding when it comes to the UKG class group because they are younger. The storyteller has to be highly animated, so that the children are able to understand what they are doing. Also, you have to slow down your speech to let them catch the words properly and understand them. This also includes the depth of the story and the style of the storytellers,” said Jumaini Ariff, a storyteller from Singapore.
Jeevan Raghunath also added, “We try to understand our audience first and then jump into the narration. This can be recognised from the response of the listeners, whether they are enjoying the story or the actions or the rhythms. Also, language plays a great role here”.