Inside: Unlocking Imagination by Engaging With Stories
Understanding literature doesn’t need to be complicated. And it definitely doesn’t require children filling out reading comprehension worksheets.
It can be as simple as chatting about stories. (Snacks optional, but highly recommended.)
Truly, we’re not oversimplifying.
Engaging with stories and having meaningful conversations helps guide children to their own deeper understanding of a story’s powerful lessons. And this ultimately leads to unlocking new depths of imagination and creativity.
Unlocking Imagination by Engaging With Stories
To help you with this we have created a FREE download, UNLOCKING IMAGINATION: Using Conversation & Narration to Engage With Stories. We’ve made it mama-friendly and included a few simple tools to streamline the process.
Use this guide with any story: picture book, chapter book, folk tale, fable, and more.
In the guide, we’ve broken down two methods to get kids thinking and understanding stories. These ideas will help your children retain what they learn in a fun way and explore new avenues of creativity.
This guide works with any story. Humans are “wired for story” and learn best through them. However, we’re also wired to understand stories the same way.
Why? Because stories, well-written or otherwise, follow a pattern.
- Main character has a goal
- Main character encounters problems accomplishing it
- Conflict moves the plot forward
- Things are (hopefully) resolved by the end
Of course, there’s wild variation from story to story in how the pattern plays out, but the general pattern exists.
Stories that follow this pattern provide deep satisfaction to the reader. Rare ones that don’t are confusing and unsatisfying. The pattern helps us make sense of stories.
This makes it easy to apply simple, effective methods to any story in order to understand and engage with the powerful lessons it offers.
With our guide UNLOCKING IMAGINATION: Using Conversation & Narration to Engage With Stories, you’ll learn about applying the following two methods to engage with any story and discuss it with children of every age.
In the guide, we call this “conversation” because it’s just that. Not thesis-level discussions about complex character flaws and symbolism. Just simple, wonderful conversation about thoughts and ideas.
But don’t be fooled by the simplicity. Actively engaging your children in discussions about stories you read together can lead to some of the richest conversation you’ll ever have with them.
You don’t want to miss out on it.
The guide walks you through how to do this well and offers categorized discussion prompts to kick things off.
Narration is simply telling back what was heard or read. Turn-of-the-century British educator Charlotte Mason coined the term “narration” in relation to recalling and retelling information.
It’s reading comprehension without a single fill-in-the-blank question.
The act of narration allows children to tell back what they understood instead of searching for the “right” answer. They get to reveal what stood out to them and narrate it back in their own words.
Narration isn’t about repeating back someone else’s thoughts but allows space for processing ideas in a unique way.
As Charlotte Mason said,
Narrating is not the work of a parrot, but of absorbing into oneself the beautiful thought from the book, making it one’s own, and then giving it forth again with just that little touch that comes from one’s own mind.
Each will be as unique as the individual giving the narration.
What’s Inside the FREE Guide
The guide contains more information about the two methods for story engagement and pages of printable resources.
We’ve included the following:
- Explanation of the methods
- How to apply them to stories
- Categorized story discussion prompts
- Printable discussion prompt cards
- List of 10 creative and fun narration ideas
How to Get the FREE Guide
Note: If you’re already a subscriber, simply enter your email address to automatically receive the PDF download. Don’t worry, you won’t be subscribed twice.
Finding Books to Read
If you need a place to start, we have a resource to find wonderful books full of potential for rich discussions.
Click here to search our Book Finder for options to get started on reading and engaging with stories.
Read more about how we define a good book here.
Use the Unlocking Imagination guide to spark meaningful discussions with your children about powerful life lessons in stories. They’ll grow as they encounter and process new ideas. They’ll unlock new depths of their imagination and creativity.
Best of all, your family will connect as you develop a love of reading great books and engage more deeply with stories.