Why Storytelling Matters: Unveiling the Literacy Benefits of Storytelling

Denise E. Agosto


Storytelling is a long-standing tradition in US public and school libraries. Storytelling, not to be confused with story reading, involves telling a story from memory without the aid of a book or written script. Some tellers memorize their stories; others memorize the characters and events and freely tell their stories, varying them with each telling.

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Cynthia Keller, “Storytelling? Everyone Has a Story,” School Library Monthly 28, no. 5 (February 2012): 10–12; Jerry Pinkney, “The Power of Storytelling,” Horn Book Magazine 91, no. 3 (June 2015): 29–30.

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For a more comprehensive review, see Kendall Haven, “The Story of the Story: Research Support for the School Librarian’s Role in Teaching Writing,” School Library Monthly 26, no. 6 (February 2010): 39–41.

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For example, see Cantrell et al., “The Impact of Supplemental Instruction on Low-Achieving Adolescents’ Reading Engagement.”

For example, see Nancy J. Ellsworth, “Literacy and Critical Thinking,” in Literacy: A Redefinition (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994), 91–108.

Maggie Chase, Eun Hye Son, and Stan Steiner, “Sequencing and Graphic Novels with Primary-Grade Students,” Reading Teacher 67, no. 6 (March 2014): 435–443.

For example, see Carter Latendresse, “Literature Circles: Meeting Reading Standards, Making Personal Connections, and Appreciating Other Interpretations,” Middle School Journal 35, no. 3 (January 2004): 13–20.

Martha E. Gregor, Storytelling in the Home, School, and Library, 1890–1920. University of Oregon, Department of History, master’s thesis (2010), accessed August 9, 2015, http://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/jspui/bitstream/1794/10639/1/Gregor_Martha_E_ma2010sp.pdf.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/cal.14n2.21


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