Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 199–212 | Cite as

Storytelling as a Constructivist Model for Developing Language and Literacy

  • Barbara C. Palmer
  • Shelley J. Harshbarger
  • Cindy A. Koch


Adhering to the philosophy of constructivism, storytelling is explored as a vehicle for expanding children's existing oral language and developing their literacy abilities during community-sponsored summertime programs. Ongoing observations of the program participants prompted the authors to make the following conclusions: (1) Storytelling is a rich interactive process that facilitates imagination, creative thinking, language abilities, and cooperative learning; (2) Learners actively construct their own understanding, building upon their current knowledge base; (3) Working with others (social interaction) on meaningful tasks enhances learning; and (4) Storytelling offers a limitless opportunity for developing a more authentic awareness of and respect for children with diverse language and cultural backgrounds.

children constructivism language and literacy storytelling observational study 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara C. Palmer
    • 1
  • Shelley J. Harshbarger
    • 2
  • Cindy A. Koch
    • 3
  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahassee
  2. 2.Tallahassee
  3. 3.Leon County Public SchoolsTallahassee

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