You might show a film to children or even read a story to them from a book. In these stories, children learn about characters, situations, conflicts, resolutions, and many other things. They learn morals of the story. They learn how to interpret stories. Storytelling is a very powerful learning tool for all ages actually.
After the children have been read to—put them in a circle or semi-circle, and ask them questions, let them talk about the story. Imagine a three, four or five year old child saying, “see first, there was this little bird, and he did not have a lot of confidence in himself, and other birds use to pick at him (tell jokes about him). He did not like that, and it use to make him real sad. But, then a little squirrel became his friend, and the little squirrel showed him how to jump, and many other things the other birds could not do, etc. etc…”
As time go on, the children will learn to express themselves even better. Once anybody—child or adult gets practice expressing themselves, they become more comfortable doing it in front of people. Then, you are at the beginning stages of a very profound writer’s career. Writing is about expressing oneself. Writing is about discovery. Writing is about transmitting ideas. Writing is about many things.
Now, these same individuals will begin to develop a love of literature, poetry, interpreting writers viewpoints, breaking down metaphors, parables, similes, context clues, and more. Reading is so much more than just mere word calling. Reading is about making analysis, using prior experience to help the reader interpret present readings. Reading is power—if it is taught the right way.
Even before a child is able to read, get them use to hearing stories, and even telling stories themselves. Tell them it is alright to make up their own stories. Let them know, normally, it would be looked down upon for them to make up things that are not true and pass that off as the truth. But, when they make up stories—it is OK. Teach them what the difference is. Let them know everything has its place, and right now they are in storytelling class.
You are the teacher, you are the parent, you are the older brother or sister, you are the role model. Put emotion behind the stories when you tell the children stories, facial gestures, voice inflections raising your voice up & down, excitement, sadness. It is all about making the listener see the bigger picture, it is all about making the story come to life, and seem all so real. That is the power of storytelling.