Present the Problem

The purpose of this stage of the metaphor is to engage the young listener in a search for identification and meaning, a process the literature describes as a search phenomenon in which the listener may ask, "How does this story relate to me?" and begin to seek the personal relevance of the tale. Stories are thus like a projective test. They offer a relatively ambiguous stimulus on which the per-ceiver is likely to place a meaning. The more the child is engaged with the character and problem of the story, the more he or she is likely to engage with the outcome. Therefore, if the presentation of the problem is serving its function, you may expect the child to be interested and involved, with a fixation of visual focus, a stillness of bodily movements, a slight nod of the head, or even a verbal expression like, "Yes, that's how I feel." At this point the story does not offer a solution but simply pre sents the problem, engages the listener, and creates some mystery about what the character might do to find a resolution.

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