After a visit to the local library and witnessing a story hour put on by a small group of librarians, I realized what a thrilling experience storytelling without books can be for children. Although, the ultimate goal is to develop literacy, working on imagination and creativity and developing a thirst for more stories and information happens during bookless story time.
Stories can be absorbed through narration with props like puppets or an easel with a marker or paint.
Stories can be experienced through songs, rhymes, or chants.
Stories can be shared with body language, eye contact, and voice inflection.
All of these things and more were occuring during the library's story time and the leaders were sure that the children were staying engaged through question asking and movement instruction. The idea that these stories came from books, had the children rushing to the stage at the end of the hour to snatch the books on display so they could take them home to read.
Any of these variations of storytelling can be done at home also! Pick a prop from anywhere in your home and transform it into something magical from a story book. Your child will see a popcorn bowl as a bubbling cauldon or a simple couch throw as the cape of a mysterious character when you make storytelling into something more than simply reading a book. This excitement that is created is the key to cultivating lifelong readers.