Stories are more than mere entertainment, stories are an ancient form of expression that are an essential ingredient for both IQ and EQ development.
This 90-minute audio compilation covers:
1. Using stories in everyday life, from the classroom to home
2. Choosing appropriate stories for individuals or groups
3. Vocal coaching with a step-by-step guide for breathing and tonal exercises
4. Write your own therapeutic story for a challenging situation
“I think the thing that Helen Hansen does so beautifully with her Storytelling Kit, is to make the unattainable seem possible. So if you thought you couldn’t tell stories (like I did), this kit is for you! It will change your mind in a gentle, practical and interesting way. And you’ll find yourself turning the mundane into story often during the day – it really does teach one how to brighten up the way in which one views the world!” – Janet Neilson, Green Family Guide
“Blending a delightful variety of references, images and the wisdom of her own experience, Helen Hansen inspires us to meet young children with confidence and joyful creativity.” – Nancy Mellon, Storyteller
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Albert Einstein is well quoted as saying that “Imagination is more important knowledge”. Yet, this is the man who was known in his time to have a super brain. After his death an autopsy was done on his brain to determine it’s size and instead of finding his brain bigger than most, they found it was 10% smaller! So how did Einstein happen upon the theory of relativity? Did he only sit at his desk, frantically writing away, scratching his dead as he wrote formula after formula. Or was he sitting in a rocking chair, eyes closed, moving backward and forward, backward and forward as the sunlight streamed through the window, and as the sun kissed his temple a spark ignited into a beam of light that was now right in front of him moving so fast it looked as if it was completely motionless. Straddling this beam of light Albert shot through the room wall and flew through time and space with eyes as clear as crystals and it was during this journey that he realised and understood through every morsel of his body the meaning of E=MC².
I do not know if Einstein had a rocking chair or if the sunlight kissed his temple during his Eureka moment, but he did say that he imagined himself riding on a beam of light as E=MC² was born.
Many other greats birthed theories, philosophies, inventions through the funnel of imagination. So if imagination is the key to developing intellect, surely this a must for our education system?
Along with stimulating intelligence, imagination is the foundation for understanding speech. Children learn words through visual association. When an object or person is given a name, the child will soon realise the two are connected and say the name when seeing the object or person again. When you say the name of an object or person not present, what happens? The brain calls up the image of the person or thing you are naming. How does it do this? Through the imagination. Matured imaginative abilities in children of all ages will aid communication and is thus vital to a balanced life in childhood and adult life. To assist this activity, one needs to provide space for the imagination to grow and develop. Free play, creative activities and storytelling are some ways to encourage this.
We, as teachers and parents can easily stimulate the imagination and thus overall brain development by the choice of words we use, a varied tonal use and expression. This is where storytelling plays a big part as opposed to story reading. When we tell a story we engage more of our right brain and so we are able to bring in more of our own feeling and the scope for many more sounds widens. Telling a story could be the recounting of a tale you have once read, it does not mean you have to make up your own story. Many parents have said to me, “I can’t tell stories”. We all tell stories every day, they are just in different forms, and if we look at life, we see that it is one big story. If you can speak, listen and imagine then you can tell a story. Let’s say you don’t want to make up your own story, merely dig into your reserve of your childhood stories or have a quick squiz at a book to remind yourself of the sequence of events and then retell it in your own words. When we tell a story we can look into the listeners eyes and that is when the child really listens, even very, busy boys who normally can’t still will suddenly become quiet as they are captivated by your direct connection, attention, and change in voice.