chapter  1
14 Pages

'Stories are for thinking': creative ways to share reading

ByRobert Fisher

A good story creates a possible world as an object of intellectual enquiry. What makes a story challenging is its polysemic nature, the possible layers of meaning and interpretation it contains. A good story draws us in by engaging the emotions. Rahim, aged six, explained this by saying: ‘In a good story you never know what is going to happen next’. The fantasy element of stories allows children to reflect more clearly on real experiences through powerful imaginary experience. A story is created to be enjoyed, but if it is a good story it challenges us to interpret and understand it. In listening to stories children learn about the features of narrative, and use of language as well as imagined worlds that move them away from the here and now and engage them in what Coleridge called ‘a willing suspension of disbelief’2. Recognition of the important role of stories infuses the Framework for Teaching the Literacy Hour, at text, sentence and word level.