Date of Award

5-1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to find out directly from children what they think, feel and experience when listening to a story being told. Is the telling of stories merely a frivolous activity or a highly effective tool for resolving conflict, exploring values and enhancing language arts, and visualization skills?

The subjects were from three different classrooms. These were, respectively, a fourth grade classroom (n=13), a first grade classroom (n=9) and a kindergarten classroom (n=16). The students were exposed to the telling of two stories told by the same professional storyteller. Each group of children was observed during the storytelling session.

Following the telling of the stories, each classroom of students was divided into groups of three and interviewed about what they had heard, thought about, felt and visualized during and after the stories were told.

Data were analyzed through the constant comparative method. It was discovered that the telling of stories is influential in the following areas: values exploration, conflict resolution, visualization and language arts. Though this was not a longitudinal study, the findings suggest that listening to the telling of stories helps the listener to activate skills which are used during reading and other subject areas. The results also offer implications for the use of storytelling in the classroom, as well as possibilities for further research.

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