Whether presenting their versions of real events or making up tales of adventure and discovery, children enchant us with their stories. But the value of those stories goes beyond their charm. Storytelling is an essential form through which children interpret their own experiences and communicate their view of the world. Each narrative presented by a child is a brushstroke on an evolving self-portrait - a self-portrait the child can reflect on, refer to, and revise.
In The Stories Children Tell, developmental psychologist Susan Engels examines the methods and meanings of children's narratives. She offers a fascinating look at one of the most exciting areas in modern psychology and education.
What is really going on when a child tells or writes a story? Engel's insights into this provocative question are drawn from the latest research findings and dozens of actual children's tales - compelling, funny, sometimes disturbing stories often of unexpected richness and beauty.
In The Stories Children Tell, Susan Engel examines:
- the different functions of storytelling
- the way the storytelling process changes as children develop
- the contributions of parents and peers to storytelling
- the different types of stories children tell
- the development of a child's narrative voice
- the best way of nurturing a child's storytelling skills
Throughout these discussions, Engel presents compelling evidence for what is perhaps her most intriguing idea: that in constructing stories, children are constructing themselves.
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