Literacy/Storytelling: The sign of a good story

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By Garry Slack — author of Learn to sign with Olli

Discover how sign language can enhance storytelling

learn to sign with olli

Traditionally, storytime in the classroom has clearly defined roles. The storyteller reads aloud from the book and the children listen passively to the tale. But, imagine if there was a way to create a storytime session that combined elements from another language, not a spoken language, but one that used the hands, body and facial expressions to add interest, emotion and expression to the story; a story that changed children from being passive listeners to active participants.

Using sign language to sign the keywords in a story can transform an ordinary story session into an exciting, interactive experience that stimulates children’s interest in both the story and the signs used. It can also raise their awareness in alternative forms of communication. National Storytelling Week, which takes place from 31 January to 7 February, provides an ideal opportunity to use sign language during storytelling.

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