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The California Reading Association

     Dedicated to Literacy for Over Fifty Years

The California Reading Association

Dedicated to Literacy for Over Fifty Years

The California
Reading Association

Dedicated to Literacy for Over Fifty Years


Storytelling is an ancient art form through which a storyteller projects mental and emotional images using the spoken word. Using oral literature as the vehicle and the storyteller as the driver, it brings people from diverse backgrounds together for shared magical moments. Storytelling preserves oral language from previous cultures and brings it to the language of the current generation.

The benefits for students are many and varied. Storytelling presents ideas and thoughts in a pleasurable way bringing people together for a warm and personal shared experience. Because well told stories are so pleasing to students, storytelling establishes a positive attitude towards stories and books. Often students are motivated to read on their own after hearing a good story. Through storytelling, the student hears rich and varied language patterns presented in a particularly satisfying format, which provides the opportunity for listeners of all ages to interact on a personal level.

Besides enjoyment and motivation, there are other benefits. Storytelling helps students understand story structure, as they become exposed to different plots, characters, and setting. It can provide a connection for students who are beginning to write the oral language patterns they hear. The stories that are told act as models for the students' own writing as well as building knowledge of different lives. As a listening activity, storytelling develops listening comprehension and provides the opportunity for using visualization to create mental and emotional images.

The California Reading Association recognizes that:

THEREFORE, the California Reading Association advocates that:

Adopted 1989

Amended 2003

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American Literacy Corporation
$2000 "Outstanding Contributions to Literacy" award
$500 to CRA Council that nominates a winning K-8 educator