Skip to main content

See also:

Storytelling, A Talking Stick, Talk Story, Freedom of Speech, Oral Traditions -

Princess Laurentien of Netherlands celebrates 200 years Hans Christian Anderson (2005)
Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images

what is the story and how do you use the ability to talk a story. In the United States, we are all lately encouraged to read read read more to children everyday and although reading is a wonderful and resourceful means of educating children, there are centuries old cultures and even modern places of culturally blended people that carry on the most powerful tradition of talking story. For many generations, people have used the practice of talk story, oral tradition. Storytellers and those who appreciate the traditions of "Talk Story" in their culture, have been benefiting from stories for generations. STORYTELLING is a way that cognitive recognition is used because the cognitive skill may ultimately depend opon some ability to creatively visualize a story within the listener's reasonable thought. Professionals in the field of Education know that visualization skills are developed when young readers create mental images of characters and settings. An additional benefit to the listener of a STORYTELLER is realized when children hear a story and they are actually preparing to exercise a learned a pattern of semantics of language and the flow of speech through developing their own listening skills. One popular professional storyteller, Bill Wood, has documented that according to the British Council, storytelling can have the following benefits: promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation; increase children's willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings; encourage active participation; increase verbal proficieny; encourage use of imagination and creativity; encourage cooperation between students; enhance listening skills.* Consequently, we may conclude that storytelling or, even reading a story without the pictures, can be interpreted creatively by a child listener and is encouraged to promote their overall well being.There are curiously more studies that are being done which support the idea that storytelling helps to develop a good pattern of thinking for children learning language skills at The Georgetown University Cognitive Recovery Lab. Storytelling helps develop neural potential to organize and build an understanding of the world around us.An American storyteller for over twenty years, the delightful Bill Wood at billwoodstoryteller.com has quoted the book, "The Magic Child" by Dr. Joseph Chilton an author who specializes in child development who he says "neural potential goes unrealized and development is impaired unless storytelling and play are provided on a regular basis." Also, Jane M. Healy Ph.D. an Educational Psychologist from her book titled "Endangered Minds" where she explains that a strong foundadtion of oral language skills, along with reading and writing-stories... language... allows us to organize and make sense of the world. In the NATIVE AMERICAN TALKING STICK symbolizes that there is an utmost respect for free speech - and the "Talking Stick" of the Cherokee Tribe assures that the speaker whom holds the "Talking Stick" while talking has in their hands the freedom and power to speak whatever they have upon their heart to say and that they do not have to worry about being afraid of receiving any act of retaliation or even feelings of humiliation for what they have said. The "talking stick" gives to the person whom is holding it, a most sacred power - that of words. Only the person holding the "Talking Stick" is allowed to speak while at such a meeting at which the "Talking Stick" is being used. The "Talking Stick" is used in council meetings. All of the council members there are silent unless they hold the "talking stick", and of course they are expected to listen to the one speaking. The Native American research and training center in Tuscon Arizona and the Cherokee Tribe as told by Carol Locust, Ph, D. "The Talking Stick has been used for centuries by many American Indian Tribes." ..."The Talking Stick was commonly used in council circles to designate who had the right to speak"The Talking Stick of the Cherokee Tribe has the following special features : An eagle feather: tied to the talking stick to add courage and wisdom to speak the truth. Rabbit fur: on the end of the stick as a reminder to speak words from the heart that must be soft and warm. A blue stone: a reminder that the Great Spirit will hear the message spoken from the heart as well as from the words that are spoken. The shell, iridescent and ever changing: reminds that all creation changes as through the days, and seasons, and throughout the years, as well, people and the situations they are in will change.Four colors of beads:yellow for the sunrise (east), red for the sunset (west), white for the snow (north), and green for the earth (south): Symbols of the powers of the universe that are represented in the "Talking Stick" held in the hands as a speaker will speak what it is that is on his heart. Great Buffalo strands of hair: The speaker speaks with the power and strength of this the great and sacred animal."The speaker should not forget that he carries within himself a sacred spark of the Great Spirit, and therefore he is also sacred. If he feels he can not honor the talking stick with his words, he should refrain from speaking so he will not dishonor himself. When he is again in control of his words, the stick will be returned to him." ** HAWAIIAN TALK STORY is a part of their culture and is taken to still another level in their everyday lifestyle through sharing it in public places. The choice to tell others about who they are in the present day and time is a welcome tradition that is brought into talk story events in many places and often in the Islands of Hawaii. When you visit a home there you will likely find folks talking story in the friendliest way imaginable, so it only makes sense that the resort hotels there would offer the tradition of talk story to make their guests feel welcome. For example, a young surfer is invited to a resort hotel to talk story about his life experiences of becoming a surfer.The modern day Hawaiian Talk Story is more like chatting with friends and telling a story from your life. *** FREEDOM OF SPEECH - must be practiced if we are to know what it is and have the ability to teach it to our children. Vitally important skill to the best future of our United States of America. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution codifies the Freedom of Speech some speech is permited and some is not for example while there is freedom of the press there is copyright laws in effect and while there is freedom of religion there is a law against slander or false statements damaging the character of a person. Criticism of the government is always allowed in the United States where people have a right to petition the government for regress or backward movement of grievances or circumstances thought to be unjust. The tradition of a petition is something that the people of the United States have always used when they feel they have reasonable grounds to complain. Any person in the United States of America may feel the freedom to sign a petition because no one ought to think that their name signed on a petition will make them a target of injustice or cause them to suffer in any way. They are allowed to request to question a story via a petition. THE CHINESE ORAL TRADITION OF TALK STORY is when the telling of stories that are important to the people telling them is passed down between generations. The stories are the way, and have been for thousands of years, for the people of China to be sure to keep their very important every day life and likewise their Dynasty history alive. The Chinese Oral Tradition also strengthens communities, and builds the people that live in those communities self esteem. Talk story is a vital element of the Chinese culture and even today there are public talk story events in Chinese communities that are open to the public. This is a very memorable way of passing down history to many Chinese American people as well as to any of those who choose to listen.Folks that attend the talk story events are led to better understand their history and how to accept their identity.****To talk a story is different from to read a story. Talk story without looking at pictures and you will help children discover their own imaginations. The creativity of the children's minds are left to interpret words in light of their own understanding. Communication skills are developed differently when talking story rather than reading a story book. Sometimes, your child can benefit from talking story rather than reading a bedtime story. The results may surprise you, and help you both to develop an even nicer relationship. The stories by Hans Christian Andersen have been told and celebrated for over 200 years around the world - as illustrated by Princess Laurentien of Netherlands in photo at 200th celebration in 2005. *To read more about how a school in the UK uses storytelling as great tool for a child's imagination go to: http://www.kumon.co.uk/blog/how-storytelling-can-fuel-a-childs-imagination/ (viewed 3mar14 mms) *****To visit the web page of Bill Wood the Storyteller go to: billwoodstoryteller .com (viewed 3mar14 mms) **To read about the tradition of Native American talking stick from the Cherokee Tribe go to: https://www.acaciart.com/stories/archive6.html (viewed 3mar14 mms) ****To learn more about talk story events in a Chinese neighborhood go to: http://www.asianfortunenews.com/2013/11/monthly-talk-story-series-uncove... (viewed 3mar14 mms) ***To learn more about talk story events at the hawaiian resort Turtle Bay go to: http://www.turtlebayresort.com/things_to_do/resort_activities/talk_story/ (viewed 3mar14 mms)