Development, Literacy, and Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways for people to organize and share their experiences. The creation and telling of a story helps us organize and reflect on the events of our lives. When we create a story we think about what we know about ourselves and others, how we feel, and what we have observed about the world around us.


By the age of three, most children are well on their way to becoming skilled storytellers. They can tell stories about themselves and about others. They can retell stories they have heard, and they can create wonderful fictional tales. When telling a story, children consider the characters, the sequence of the events, and where and when the story took place.


Storytelling is a social experience that strengthens our connections to others. When adults listen to children’s stories they are sending a powerful message about the child’s significance to the people and events in the world around them. When adults write down children’s stories they are teaching them about the connection between language and writing. When adults read a child’s story they heighten children’s understanding of the connections between language, writing, and reading.


In short, storytelling is a powerful tool for promoting social-emotional well-being as well as for promoting the development of early literacy skills.

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