Collaborative Storytelling

What is collaborative storytelling?

Collaborative storytelling is two more people joining in to create a spontaneous story. This is best done verbally, rather than written down, to keep ideas flowing and to develop speech communication. The more you do it the more comfortable and confident you will be in making up stories! So go for a walk in the great outdoors and make up a story.

How can I encourage collaborative storytelling?

Asking questions to prompt storytelling can encourage children to come up with ideas and choose interesting vocabulary. However, we must allow plenty of thinking time and try not to interrupt their ‘flow’.

You could ask specific questions about the story:

  • How did that happen?

  • How did that make him feel?

  • Can you tell me more about…?

  • How else could you describe…?

  • What was it like there?

  • Why did she do that?

This time of questions and answers is particularly helpful if your child is unable to think of anything to say. Children are natural storytellers though so you may not need to join in at all!

You could try extending your child’s vocabulary, when appropriate, or model more interesting language. For example, repeat back part of the story adding in a more exciting adjective.

What else could we do?

You could:

  • Do nothing!! Leave this as just a lighthearted storytelling session unless they are desperate to create something afterwards, then see below

  • Create a comic strip about the story

  • Draw a scene from the story and add descriptive words

  • Re-create the story in the garden, or indoors, using figures and stop motion

  • Bring the story up again at bedtime - can they remember what happened?

  • Roleplay the story with their favourite toys e.g. dolls house figures, superheroes, Lego characters etc.

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