Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why do children want to hear that story again?

 “If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again.”
-Groucho Markx

Preschoolers and toddlers absolutely love repetition. Children master skills though constant repetition, while we-as adults simply look for the quickest way to do things.
In early childhood education there is a balance with this, of course. Finding more ways to incorporate literate as well as social skills is part of setting up a creative environment in the classroom.

What the children are asking for is to be swept away into a book or a story….this is a love for the written word; literature, books, a foundation for a love of reading, writing, language arts…and not to mention the intricacies of the characters, and a really good plot! Thinking of it that way, it I would hope anyone would think twice before refusing to read or simply read a child a story…..again….and again……


Anonymous said...

We have "favorites", and I do read them again, just not always when THEY want. I like to leave them hanging sometimes. I think that dangling that carrot out there is sometimes a good thing.

Dan Gurney said...

So true. Also, children love stories with lots of repetition built in. I do a lot of improvisational story telling in my classroom, and I build a whole lot of repetition into the stories I tell. If there's lots of repetition, the students listen much more intently...listening for the "new" part of the story embedded in the repeated part.

Similarly, music has a lot of repetition in it...songs especially the refrain. Humans, not just children enjoy least to a point.

Barbra The Bloggess said...

True, chanting books and song books are a big hit. I sometimes have to remind myself why I am reading a story for what feels like the millionth time. Aside from the book kids love the time we sit and spend with them.
In the preschool room I have to be careful about the 'dangling carrot theory'. Preschoolers don't always understand this as well as kinders do. Having a balance to me means not squelching their zeal and and at the same time having a balance in the curriculum.