Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than having to listen to a speaker that has no enthusiasm! I’ve come to the conclusion that if it’s boring for me, it’s probably boring for the kids! That’s why we need to be good storytellers. Here’s some easy ways that you can become a good storyteller.
- Use your voice to be enthusiastic! Use fluctuation, silly voices, and even whisper! But whatever you do, don’t just read a Bible story in a monotone voice because you will lose kids attention.
- Ask children to listen for secret words in the story. Take a look at the Bible story and select two words that are mentioned multiple times. For example, in a New Testament story, I might choose the words “Jesus” and “disciples”. Instruct the children to pat their head every time they hear the word “Jesus” and rub their belly every time they hear the word “disciples.” Their response could also be a sound instead of an action. When teaching the story of Jesus calming the storm, every time they hear the word “wind” the students could make a swishing sound. If they hear the word “waves” they would make a wavy motion with their arms.
- Make use of a story bag. Find or purchase several small, smooth stones to use as “story stones”. Story stones are made by drawing or attaching small pictures to the stones. Ideally you want to have pictures of the key points in your story. For example, in the story of Noah in the Ark, you could create seven stones. Each stone would depict one of the following pictures: Noah, the ark, animals, raindrops, a dove, a dove with a branch, and a rainbow. Place the stones in a small bag or box. As you teach the story, reach into the bag and pull out the appropriate stone. Kids will be curious as to what will come out of your bag next. An alternative idea to story stones is to gather objects that represent the main points of the lesson and show them to children as you tell the story.
- Make use of a black light. These are really cool and have a major wow factor. Purchase a long tube black light in the lighting section of your local store. Don’t buy the individual bulb, they’re not strong enough. Block out all light by covering windows and doors. Fluorescent colors glow incredibly well under a black light. Similar to the story stones, you select the key points of your story and cut out silhouettes in fluorescent paper of those items. As you tell the story, hold up the signs/objects you’ve made and they will glowing in your room. You can even cut out letters to spell out words or the scripture verses. If funds are available, investing into black light puppets would be a great option. Black light puppets are a huge hit with kids of all ages because of their glowing properties.