Storytelling and creative dramatics are important components of the MCNS curriculum. The program, developed by storyteller, Susan Milligan, is based on the work of Vivian Gussen Paley and focuses on listening to a series of stories with similar genres, learning about the structure of stories, dictation of stories by the children, and acting out stories.
The core of the specialist's program is the genre study, listening to stories with common structural elements and patterns. As children listen to these stories they are able to recognize the style, themes, characters, and settings of these types of stories and become experts at predicting what will happen next. Once they have internalized the conventions of the stories, they can depart from those conventions and create stories of their own with similar patterns but possibly new characters and experiences. Learning to recognize and use patterns is a critical factor in learning.
Children-as-authors is a powerful combination. It gives them hands-on experience putting words together into sentences, creating plots and characters that can be appreciated and understood by others, and learning how to edit and refine their work is helping to lay a strong foundation for later literacy.
Highlight and click images below to see full size examples of the children's storytelling and illustration work.