Make the Metaphor Memorable

If you can make the story, or aspects of the story, memorable for your young listener you are more likely to make the message of the story memorable as well. First, simple techniques such as rhyme (e.g., the "zoo poo stew" of Story 66) or alliteration (e.g., in names such as Pollyanna Priscilla Pon-senbury of Story 31, or Wally the Wacky Wizard of Story 74) can facilitate retention.

Second, humor (such as in Story 66, "Taking Responsibility," Story 74, "Thinking through a Problem," and Story 80, "Creating a Wish") can help engage the child in the storytelling process, facilitate rapport between the storyteller and the listener, and deliver an outcome that is both enjoyable and memorable. In addition, Berg and Steiner make the important point that "When you have fun with children, they will learn that they are fun to be around, which will contribute to their sense of well-being as unique individuals" (2003, pp. 13—14).

Third, it is possible to help aid identification with a character by matching the character's characteristics to the child's. Engaging the child in the process of selecting the character's name and traits can facilitate identification with the character, the problem, the steps to rectify it, and the outcome. Hence you may hear me ask at times, "What would you like to call this character?" (as in Story 13, "Recognizing Your Abilities").

Fourth, the child may associate more easily with the story if it is grounded in a context relevant to the listener. It may be set in a home, school, or neighborhood that a child can imagine as his or her own. It may be in a place where the child has vacationed (e.g., as in Story 41), some other familiar environment or the environment in which the problem occurs and needs to be resolved.

Fifth, the story is likely to engage the listener and remain memorable if it has elements of interest, intrigue, surprise, or anticipation. It may introduce the unexpected, or come up with a novel twist at the end, such as in Story 23, "See for Yourself" and Story 25, "Build on What You Are Good At."

Sixth, use of the five senses helps adds reality and identification. Stories 41 and 42, "Heightening Pleasure," are specific examples. If you set your story on the beach, hear the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, or the screech of seagulls overhead. Paint the sky blue, the sea green, and the sand yellow. Smell the ocean, taste the salt in the air, feel the coolness of the sea breeze, and describe those sensations in your story.

Seventh, the involvement of emotion adds to the reality of the story, identification with the tale, and a memory of the outcome. Include feelings of anger or love, fear or joy, jealousy or hope, sadness or laughter, for greater memory.

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