Vivian Gussin Paley offers us another way to value the storytelling lives of children – by honouring the stories they create in their play.
Young children are continually creating pretend stories. What Paley promotes is the value of honouring those stories. These stories of play are literacy at it’s finest – authors building on what they know to create and develop stories and plots, adding imagination and creativity and emotion, developing roles and creating sets and props.
Here is how Paley develops and promotes the telling of stories
“Paley’s ‘storytelling curriculum’ consists of two interdependent activities. In the first, a child dictates his or her story to the teacher. In the second, the story is dramatized by the class. The holistic nature of the storytelling curriculum is evident in the learning it promotes in almost all areas of development, from using language to express and shape intention to making friends.”
Patricia Cooper. ‘Literacy learning and pedagogical purpose in Vivian Paley’s ‘storytelling curriculum’. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 2005.
To read her work is to understand that this is an educator deeply connected to and honouring of children. She is connecting to the core of their spirit. In doing so, she engages the children fully and passionately in the work of developing literacy.
How could this dramatic approach be incorporated into our programs? What richness would it bring in supporting the development of literacy to diverse learners in our Kindergarten programs?
You can read an interview with Vivian Paley at: Interview with Vivian Paley
Written by Sandra Rosekat