Teaching Stories

Teaching stories is a term used to describe narratives that have been deliberately created as vehicles for the transmission of wisdom.

Our favorite Teaching Stories are those written by Idries Shah. We have found that children (and adults alike) truly love and enjoy these timeless stories and at the same time as we read, tell these stories, listen to them or make theater together, we are learning about ourselves and others, continuing to expand our perception on many different levels. A teaching story works on its own, it doesn’t need an explanation and it does not have a moral. You can check out these books at www.hoopoekids.com

THE FARMER’S WIFE
THE LION WHO SAW HIMSELF IN THE WATER
THE SILLY CHICKEN

THE CLEVER BOY AND THE TERRIBLE, DANGEROUS ANIMAL
THE OLD WOMAN AND THE EAGLE
THE BOY WITHOUT A NAME
THE MAN AND THE FOX
THE MAN WITH BAD MANNERS
NEEM THE HALF-BOY
FATIMA THE SPINNER AND THE TENT
THE MAGIC HORSE

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“…a series of children’s books that have captivated the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life. The books are tales from a rich tradition of story telling from Central Asia and the Middle East. Stories told and retold to children, by campfire and candlelight, for more than a thousand years. Through repeated readings, these stories provoke fresh insight and more flexible thought in children. Beautifully illustrated.” The Magazine of the National Education Association

Teaching-Stories and the Brain

Teaching-Stories activate the right side of the brain much more than does reading normal prose. The right side of the brain provides ‘context’, the essential function of putting together the different components of experience. The left side provides the ‘text’, or the pieces themselves. These stories are designed to embody–in their characters, plots and imagery–patterns and relationships that nurture a part of the mind that is unreachable in more direct ways, thus increasing our understanding and perceptions. Such stories are pivotal in cognitive development, they lead the child and then the adult to learn more about what happens in the world, when and how events come together.

Speaking at the Library of Congress, leading psychologist Robert Ornstein gives a presentation on the effectiveness of the Teaching-Story in developing thinking skills and perceptions. His lecture includes a video version of 2 Hoopoe titles: Neem the Half-Boy and The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal.

 

 

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