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Criteria Used When Selecting a Story for Storytelling to Preschoolers

Criteria Used When Selecting a Story for Storytelling to Preschoolers

When choosing a story to narrate to the pre-schoolers, some factors should be considered. Karpouza et al. (2014) state that contrary to adult literature, format size, shape, book presentation and literariness, which is typically part of the content, determines the children’s book quality. As such, Kragler (2000) states that some book-related aspects impacting children’s selections comprise word length, book-length, and print size. In this same line, these books have stories that could impact children in varying ways, and as such, teachers should have selection criteria.

Consistently, one of the criteria used when choosing a story to narrate to the pre-schoolers is age appropriateness. As such, the story should present inspiring and challenging encounters appropriate for the student’s age, social maturity, and ability. At times, selecting an age-suitable story tends to be as easy as matching the children’s age to the indicated reading level. For example, if children are 3-4 years old, then an instructor can choose a storybook in this age bracket.

Another criterion is the plot. In other words, this is referred to as the narrative. Generally, the plot is the sequence of events that take place in the story and, in most cases, conforms to cause-and-effect designs. The story’s major substance is the plot, and it comprises the things that transpire in the story, the deeds in the story, and the section that is bound to be fascinating, engaging, and suspenseful.

Moreover, the length of a story is a great determiner in choosing a story to tell the pre-schoolers. It is common for children to get bored very fast; therefore, a short story is best suited for them. If the story is too long, the pre-schoolers might lose interest and fail to focus along the way. Subsequently, to deliver the intended message, the story should be short, precise, and easily understandable for the children.

Consistently exceptional and memorable characters are another criterion to adopt. Characters are the most significant part of choosing a story for the pre-schoolers. Once children fall in love with a distinct character, they are most likely to relish all the stories featuring the character. As such, the characters in the story should be easily remembered. This will help the learners recall the story, understand it, and relate these characters to their personal lives. In ensuring that the characters are exceptional and memorable, the instructor should take time to comprehend the intended message in the story.

Furthermore, values are vital in selecting a story to narrate to pre-schoolers. Children are in the process of comprehending the difference between right and wrong at this young age. Therefore, they should learn the right and wrong values and differentiate between them. In most cases, the values are emphasized in the lessons learned. For example, a character could be kind, selfish, honest, or any other morals, and the children learn this through the story.

Lastly, illustration is a significant criterion to be used. It comprises sensory and visual images in the story. According to Karpouza et al. (2014), the illustration could impact the instructor’s literature book selections by being imposing or impressive. Subsequently, images and visual representations should be used to explain the story. This should help the children understand the story in depth. Yu (2012) states that perception is the capacity to arrange and process visual info. For example, picture books tell children stories with an amalgamation of images and texts, thus making it easy for the kids to comprehend and retain the information acquired.

Types of Storytelling Stories

One type of story is a fable. Usually, this is a short story comprising few characters, and in most cases, the characters tend to be anthropomorphic. This entails the animals who talk and act like people, and there is always a significant social lesson for the children to learn in the story. An example is the Ant and the Grasshopper fable by Aesop. Another story type is a fairy tale. In this case, a narration will, in most cases, involve magic, an evil character, and a happy ending. This type of story depicts good versus evil, with the addition of otherworldly, mysterious aspects. Most of the stories are normally set in a faraway background years ago. Oftentimes, a princess is a major character, but not all the time. An example of a fairy tale is snow white, whose author is the Brothers Grimm.

Folktale is also among the story types. A folktale is any story type told in telling aloud, and many generations normally have re-shared the story. For the most part, the term folktale tells more about how people tell stories instead of the real genre, and folks essentially tell the tale. The story could be a myth, a legend, a fairy tale, or a ghost narration. An example of this category is the Folktale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, whose author is Robert Southey. Moreover, a Trickster Tale is also among the story types. Typically, it is any story revolving around characters with increased intellect and outstanding abilities. The characters utilize their abilities to trick other story characters. An example of this story category tends to be Jabuti the Tortoise, written by Gerald McDermott.

Steps to Prepare for Storytelling

The initial step in preparing for storytelling is knowing the audience. This will determine the length of the story and the language that will be utilized. Some aspects to consider in the audience are age, what they care about, and the tone to be used. The next phase is making the audience care, either aesthetically, intellectually, or emotionally. This should be followed by setting the scene, which involves capturing the audience by engaging their senses and giving the story’s context. The subsequent step is becoming creative with chronology. At times, the narrator could opt to throw the audience straight to the story’s conclusion for purposes of capturing the audience’s attention. The next phase is comprehending the punchline, which includes knowing the purpose but not forgetting to be funny, emotional, and meaningful. The following step is knowing how to engage the audience. It is significant to involve them by asking questions or making them the center of the narration. The next phase is understanding how to utilize tension. This will ensure that the audience is curious enough to listen to the story till the end. Finally, the narrator should know how to end the story, which involves giving a grand finale. Closure is very vital in a story. Thus, the plot constructed in a narration should come to an end with no questions left. Adding magic to the narration by leaving the listeners with a sense of amazement is crucial.


Karpouza, E., Zampanioti, A., & Karakitsios, A. (2014). Children’s books in education: teacher’s and student’s selection criteria. In International Annual Conference The Child and the Book Conference “Time, Space, and Memory in Literature for Children and Young Adults (Vol. 1, pp. 1-9).

Kragler, S. (2000). Choosing books for reading: An analysis of three types of readers. Journal of Research in Childhood Education14(2), 133-141.

Yu, X. (2012). Exploring visual perception and children’s interpretations of picture books. Library & Information Science Research34(4), 292-299.


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Describe 6 of 9 Criteria used when selecting a story for storytelling to preschoolers.

Criteria Used When Selecting a Story for Storytelling to Preschoolers

Criteria Used When Selecting a Story for Storytelling to Preschoolers

Types of stories for storytelling with Examples of Each.
Steps to Prepare for Storytelling.
Four double-spaced pages

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