My Teacher is good at Telling Stories!

6-year-old Cai Er is one of left-behind children in her village. Her parents work in Guangdong and only come back in Spring Festival. She lives with her grandparents in a village of Tiandong County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Cai Er studies at the senior grade in her kindergarten. She is the tallest in her class but very shy and a bit afraid of meeting strangers and showing herself.

Her kindergarten was just found last year. The principal hopes children in their village to enjoy early childhood education, but the kindergarten faces the challenge of shortage in teachers with education background of early childhood education. Therefore, World Vision invited an expert from Hong Kong to carry out training on picture book teaching for kindergarten teachers in Tiandong County, and equipped Cai Er’s kindergarten with a batch of picture books as well. Ca Er’s teachers have never received relevant teaching training before. Ms. Lan, a teacher of the kindergarten, said, “I have learned some skills of storytelling. And I realized that picture book teaching is not only telling children stories, but also teaching children knowledge and developing their habits.” 

The kindergarten launched a “Reading Promotion Month” activity after the training. Teachers will regularly bring children to the reading room and read picture books for them every month. They also applied what they have learned in the training to daily teaching. Ms. Lan said, “The children like my way of storytelling very much. I read picture books for them with skills learned from the training. And then ask them questions in the way the trainer taught us, so children could develop their language abilities. They also like to read picture books in the reading room. They often ask me if they could go to “be quiet”. They call the reading room “be quiet”, because I always ask them to be quiet in the reading room.”

In the “reading promotion month” activity held by the kindergarten, children act characters in the picture books to further understand and remember the stories. 6-year-old Cai Er (first left) acts “the king of greenfly” in the drama.

The kindergarten also carried out drama performance in conjunction with the picture book reading promotion activity. Children were asked to act the characters in the picture books, so that they could better understand and remember the stories. Cai Er’s class needs to act the story of “Greenfly”. The teacher asked Cai Er to act the character of “the king of greenfly”, but she was not willing to do it at first. Then the teacher read the story of “Greenfly” for her attractively. After several times’ listening, she got more and more interested in the story. One day, she came to the teacher and said, “I want to act “the king of greenfly. It’s very funny.”

Cai Er is playing with her classmates in the classroom. She used to be shy but now she becomes open.

Many parents were invited to watch the drama performance. But instead of being nervous, Cai Er put on a great performance. Ms. Lan said, “She has become more and more confident and active after the performance. Look! She is playing with her classmate, which she was scared to do so before. Her parents have my phone number and they often ask me about her status. Cai Er’s change makes them feel relieved.” 

The kindergarten plans to keep on the “Reading Promotion Month” activity and carry out a story telling competition for children. “They will learn more by telling the stories on their own.” Ms. Lan said. The kindergarten also encourages parents to participate in the “Reading Promotion Month”. It supports parents to borrow picture books and read with their children at home. The picture book teaching approach has improved rural kindergarten teachers’ teaching method and enabled rural kindergartens to keep up with modern early childhood education development.”(written by Lu Zhenyan)