Storytelling and the Importance of Oracy in Writing Development.
In a land not so far from here, there was a young boy who lived in a world of imagination. He loved to create stories in his mind, filled with colourful characters and thrilling adventures. As he grew older, he discovered that he could bring these stories to life through writing. However, he soon discovered that writing was not as easy as he thought it would be. The words just wouldn't flow, and his stories seemed lacklustre compared to the vivid scenes in his mind. It wasn't until he began to focus on developing his verbal skills that his writing truly flourished!
Oracy skills, including vocabulary, communication, listening, and creativity, are the building blocks of effective writing. Here, we'll explore the connection between storytelling and verbal skills, the role of verbal skills in writing development, the brain science (!) and strategies for promoting verbal skill development in children.
Importance of Speaking Skills for Writing To develop as writer in a way that boosts confidence and enthusiasm for the future, it is important to have strong verbal skills. Vocabulary allows writers to choose the right words to express their ideas, communication skills help writers to clearly convey their message, and creativity brings life to the words on the page.
Let's take it a little bit deeper ( into the brain) than that for a second... Did you know about the Wernicke's area of the brain? The Wernicke's area in the brain plays a role in making links between pictures and words and is responsible for language comprehension. It processes auditory information, enabling us to understand spoken language and also helps to form links between the meaning of words and their associated images, allowing us to associate sounds with objects or pictures ( ohh this is phonics!), concepts, and memories. The Wernicke's area helps to make connections between the images that are processed in the visual cortex and the words that are processed in the language centres of the brain.
So, how does this talk of the Wernicke's Area link to children's verbal skills and creative writing?
Developing the Wernicke's area can improve creative writing by enhancing the writer's ability to process and understand language, which is essential for effective communication. When the Wernicke's area is well-developed, writers have access to a greater range of vocabulary and can more easily find the right words to express their ideas. Those with more developed Wernicke's areas are also able to understand and process more complex language, which can inspire new ideas and perspectives. Sounds like a good plan for children embarking on their educations right?
Because the Wernicke's Area of the brain helps to form connections between words and their associated concepts, emotions, and images; developing young writers can create more vivid, descriptive, and evocative writing, as they can easily connect words with the sensory and emotional experiences they evoke. As a result, their writing becomes more engaging and impactful, capturing the reader's attention and imagination. One more bit of brain stuff incoming...
The Wernicke's area is closely connected to the Broca's area, which is responsible for language production. When the Wernicke's Area is well-developed, it can boost the communication between the two areas, enabling young writers to produce written language that is clear, coherent, and expressive.
Side note: I'm not a brain expert so have had this bit of a wandering off away from my true area of expertise double checked by a friendly boffin and it's been given the thumbs up! Phew!
Verbal skills play a key role in writing development, helping to improve writing fluency, enhance writing style and creativity, and encourage critical thinking and analysis. When children have strong verbal skills, they are able to more easily express their ideas, create vivid images, and connect with their audience in a meaningful way. This is exactly why we added a storytelling element to out Enchanting Learning Cards, we wanted to provide that verbal element to boost the mechanical element of learning to read and write.
There are many strategies and activities that can help to develop verbal skills in children and we share many of them right here on our Creative Learning page. Encouraging shared reading, storytelling without a book, engaging in conversation, and providing opportunities for creative expression are all effective ways to build verbal skills and our learning cards act as wonderful prompts.
Reading aloud to your child or taking turns with your child can help to improve vocabulary and comprehension, while for older children, public speaking and presentations of favourite topics can build confidence in communication. Engaging in conversation and encouraging active listening, the use of vocabulary, and building confidence can also help to develop verbal skills. Providing opportunities for creative expression through writing, storytelling, drama, and art can also be valuable in promoting verbal skills.
Oracy skills are essential for effective writing, playing a key role in improving writing fluency, enhancing writing style and creativity, and encouraging critical thinking and analysis. With the right strategies and resources, parents and educators can help children to develop strong verbal skills, allowing them to bring their stories to life in a way that is engaging, expressive, and impactful. So, let's continue to encourage and support the young storytellers of today, so they can bring their imagination to life through the power of the written word.