‘Storytelling is a great way to reach out to children’

“Storytelling is the oldest teaching tool. It’s so simple, yet so effective,” said Jo Blake Cave, a contemporary storyteller based in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom (U.K.).

Taking a short break from a storytelling workshop here earlier in the week (bringing her rapt audience back to earth), Ms. Cave told The Hindu storytelling could be effectively used in teaching. “People have always learnt from stories; [they’re] a great way to reach out to children [as they] work on factual and metaphorical levels.”

Many lessons

Elaborating on how several lessons can be learnt from one story, Ms. Cave said: “Along with language, one can also learn history, morality and even maths.”

Storytelling is an entrenched activity in the U.K. Asked where we in India c0ould begin streamlining it, she suggested that schools would be the best place. “Begin by training teachers.”

Ms. Cave also admitted she had not read too many Indian stories, but would love to begin with the Mahabharata, “which may take me a lifetime”.

The workshop was one among those being held in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad, apart from Bangalore, as part of the International Storytelling Festival being held in New Delhi that concludes on September 29. The festival is being supported by the British Council, in partnership with Nivesh India, while the workshops and performances are supported by Oxford Bookstore and RP-SG group.

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