Culture and communication: Using story to explore different cultures

storytelling for schools Culture and Communication

Different cultures around the world have their own stories that reflect their beliefs, origins, life and morals. From the earliest days of Humankind, stories have been used to teach, to remember important information and even for survivial. As civilisations grow and change, so the stories changes with them. As a result, stories, both old and new, provide a valuable record of the past and can be used to help uncover and understand different cultures.

People have always valued stories, past them on and when possible recorded them as well. This means that some stories provide valuable clues to the past. For example, some academics claim that there are stories in the Mabinogion that may originate from the Iron age! 

Therefore in this storytelling package we can use ancestral stories to introduce and explore cultures, both the living and the dead to try and understand what their values were and why.

The Culture and Communication package focuses on stories from different cultures. The actual stories told can be chosen for particular purposes and even linked to subjects the children have already studied or are about to study. The storytelling process helps to bring the subject to life and the children are encouraged to identify and explain the differences and similarities they see in the stories.

Using this approach we begin to make connections between different parts of the world and start to understand the influences and culture that created the stories. The children can begin to understand and respect different cultures and see the value of diversity. They will also begin to appreciate their own culture too!

For example, Native American tales often have strong motifs of living in harmony with the land whereas many European Tales have an association with magic or the supanatural. By looking at these stories we can see clues to the history of different civilisations (and vice versa) to understand why certain types of story predominate in different parts of the world.

With older children we can explore how 'story' can be used to reinforce culture. Story can be used to communicate acceptable attitudes and behaviour. Discussion and consideration of the uses of story in contemporary culture is used to illustrate this point - TV, Radio, Music, Newspapers, Novels, Internet, Social Media etc.

Extended learning and further curriculum links are possible through activities such as poster displays created by the children to explain more about the cultures introduced.



Other Storytelling for schools and learning packages:

Culture and Communication – Using story to explore different cultures

Folklore and history – using story to understand the past

Myth or Legend? Parable or Fable? – knowing the difference

Mabinogion Magic – Exploring the ancient stories of Wales

Fabled Fables! – Using animal stories to explore ethics and morals

What makes ‘Spookey’ spookey? – Storytelling and structure

The never ending story – tales where the children decide the ending.

Hedgerow wisdom - the stories that help us remember


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