Moving Stories: Wholeness for Our Children
Children understand and appreciate language and literature by becoming dancing parts of speech and bringing literary images to life through voice and movement.
When we hear a story, we reinvent it in our own minds, putting the story characters, setting, and plot into the context of our life experiences. We perceive the images in the story in relation to what and who we know, where we have been, and what we have done. As the story images stir our imaginations, we hear, smell, taste, and feel each of them in our own unique ways. Our impressions engage our muscles and our nerves and we want to respond. It is natural to be drawn into a good story, to want to express our perceptions vocally and/ or through movement.
In fact, a good story invites us to step right inside of it! The literature and activities in my guidebook, Stories on the Move: Integrating Literature and Movement with Children, from Infants to Age 14, does just that. Enough of sitting and absorbing! Enough of living life in our heads! It’s time to harmonize mind, body, and spirit through fun-filled and educational literary adventures! Each chapter is designed according to the literacy and physical readiness of children at typical stages of development and begins with a “Readiness to Learn” table for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, 6-8 year olds, 9-11 year olds, and 12-14 year olds. The activities simultaneously build self-awareness, self-esteem, literacy, grace, agility, and aesthetic sensibilities. A young child has a large quantity of neurons capable of creating new synapses; if these neurons are not stimulated, they die off. Movement is a central part of the learning experience; it facilitates thinking. Without movement to integrate subject matter, the child may develop a learning disability. Research has shown that children display speaking and reading-related behaviors from the time that they are infants. It has been found that this early training for young children impacts their success, not only when they enter school, but throughout their lives.
You can order Stories on the Move at Amazon.com.