Children’s Use of Objects in Their Storytelling



Children’s academic achievements are often measured by their levels of literacy and numeracy where a considerable amount of interest has been given to these specific learning domains. Narrative skills feature prominently in children’s later literacy in American and New Zealand research (Griffin et al. 2004; Reese et al. 2010). For instance, Reese et al. (2010) demonstrated that the quality of children’s oral narrative expression in the first 2 years of reading instruction uniquely predicted their later reading, over and above the role of their vocabulary knowledge and decoding skill. Stuart McNaughton’s research in South Auckland (McNaughton 2002) has also emphasised the value of narrative competence for future literacy practice while illustrating the different styles of storytelling and reading across different cultural communities. When children narrate experiences and story-tell, they engage in cognitive, affective and social experiences and explorations that extend beyond simple conversation – opportunities to understand the social world – and one’s place within it arises (Bruner 1991). Narratives are recognised as essential to both autobiographical memory and identity (Wertsch 2002; Bruner 2002; Szenberg et al. 2012). Classic studies remind us of the autonomy of children in developing their own cultural routines through mutual negotiations and storying (Sutton-Smith 1997 p.171) and the powerful combination of adding affect to cognition using story (Egan 1997; Vivian Gussin Paley 2004). In short, narrative competence is a valuable outcome in its own right.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.College of EducationThe University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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