How can we incorporate some oral storytelling into the session?
Another option you may wish to consider is the inclusion of oral storytelling. Oral storytelling involves both a story and its telling (or performance). A key advantage is that it removes the logistical challenges of shared book reading (e.g. the audience not being able to see the book being read). In addition, oral storytelling brings characters to life, so the children can see how they move, look and even sound. You may choose to tell a well-known story such as Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks by acting it out.
If you find this idea challenging, think about using a puppet to tell the story. When the puppet ‘speaks’, remember to fix your gaze on it, so that the audience also looks at the puppet (rather than your face, which is really narrating the story). Although you, the storyteller, are always visible to the audience, it is the puppet and not you who should not be the focal point of their attention.
Some storytime presenters have developed signature stories with predictable and repeated action sequences that they share with the group each week. These stories may integrate familiar songs (e.g. Twinkle, Twinkle; Baa Baa Black Sheep and Old MacDonald) or repetitive refrains, allowing the children and their caregivers to join in. Stories like these expose children to a sequence of unfolding actions, help to develop their listening skills and support their physical development with movement activities while also nurturing their phonological awareness.