Writing & Storytelling

We all know a good story when we hear one, but what makes it good? Surprisingly quite a lot! We use stories to explain all sorts of life events!

When we narrate these events to someone else, we must rely on some key skills….skills that are important in school and building friendships.

So…YOU get to focus on having fun trying out your story ideas with friends, but at STORY STAGE we will focus on helping you build important NARRATIVE LANGUAGE SKILLS:

Topic maintenance

If you start out talking about what happened when Joe pushed you on the playground, but that makes you think of the time it rained and you had to stay inside for indoor recess, and that makes you think of how much you can’t stand it when you can’t go outside, and there was this time when you had to stay inside and finish your math sheet….Well, you get the idea.  It’s a cute idea in Karen Numeroff’s “If You Give a Mouse A Cookie” but in reality your listener would be exhausted before you ever got back around to Joe and the playground.  At STORY STAGE, we teach you to stick to the story you started.

Decontextualized language

Very young children have difficulty talking about things that are not right in front of them.  As language develops, so does the capacity to talk about things that aren’t “here and now.”  Stories rely heavily on being able to talk about past events, and knowing how much background information your listener needs.   At STORY STAGE, we help you learn to tell someone what happened yesterday or on your vacation.

Cause-effect relationships

Stories are made up of small episodes with one event logically leading to the next.  Sometimes we get so excited to get the the “good part” that we leave out important steps along the way.  Consider the following:  “Joe pushed me on the playground and I got in trouble”  OR  “ We went on vacation and I broke my arm.”  Don’t you want to know what happened in the middle?  At STORY STAGE, we help you connect the dots in your story with all the details you need.

Story grammar

It’s not just the little story parts that need to be connected causally.  It’s the big parts too.  These big parts are called story elements, and we teach them in five parts:  beginning, initiating event, problem, attempts to solve, and resolution.  At STORY STAGE we help you organize your ideas to tell a good story.

Sentence structure and vocabulary

The more words you know, the easier it is to say what you mean to say.  A rich vocabulary adds detail and expression to your story.  Weaving words into complex sentence structures will make your story stand out (and make your teacher smile!).  At STORY STAGE, we help you build and access the words that describe exactly what you want to convey.

Writing

At Story Stage we move writing from the abstract to the concrete by making writing a noisy, active, collaborative adventure.  This applies whether you are a preschooler or teenager.  All of our workshops offer developmentally appropriate activities that get writing on it’s feet and never ask kids to sit quietly at desks with a blank page. 

Instead…..we give kids and teens:

1.  A group where they can try out ideas

2.  A positive environment to give and receive feedback from peers

3.  A chance to solve problems together before they are ever asked to sit      down with a blank page and solve them on their own.

4.  Plenty of props, improv, and fun

5.  And perhaps most importantly…

  We provide just the right amount of structure BUT WE DON’T TELL THEM WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT.

All the stories at Story Stage originate from IDEAS that KIDS and TEENS come up with themselves.