What Story Would You Tell Before Sleep?

Do you have a preferred bedtime tale? Many children enjoy reading with a family member before they fall asleep. Some are fond of hearing fairy tales. Others may prefer stories about heroes or ghostly encounters. Perhaps you are even a storyteller yourself!

For thousands of years, people have been telling bedtime stories and other types of tales. Ancient humans used to tell stories orally, relying on their memory. They would enhance the stories with hand gestures and facial expressions to make them more captivating.

Over time, humans started to write or draw their stories. Some of these stories have been discovered in caves. In fact, archaeologists in Indonesia recently found cave paintings that are 44,000 years old and depict a story. What was the story about? The paintings portrayed hunting wild animals! Experts believe this might be the oldest recorded story.

The Aboriginal people of Australia also used symbols painted on cave walls to convey stories. They would share their tales through a combination of speech, music, rock art, and dance. Additionally, they would use items such as sand, leaves, and tree carvings to document the stories through pictures or writing. Many of these ancient stories are still told by them today!

Throughout history, many stories have shared common themes. Regardless of their origin, numerous stories include lessons or morals. In this way, stories can have an influence on the people and cultures that tell them.

One example of this is the popular children’s story “The Three Little Pigs.” You may have heard this tale at bedtime once or twice! Two lazy pigs construct houses made of straw and twigs. They rush through the work. On the other hand, the third pig works diligently to build a sturdy brick house. When the Big Bad Wolf arrives, he manages to blow down the straw and twig houses of the lazy pigs, but the brick house remains standing.

What is the moral of this story? Many would argue that it teaches us that good things happen when we work hard in life. Can you think of any lessons you have learned from other bedtime stories?

Today, some stories are still passed down orally. However, we also have various modern mediums for storytelling. These include television, movies, plays, the Internet, and of course—books!

Do you also enjoy reading books? If so, we have a holiday just for you. It has been celebrated since 1994, and it takes place every year on November 1. What holiday are we referring to? National Family Literacy Day! This is a day when people all over the United States celebrate the wonders of literacy. They organize activities and events that highlight the importance of families learning together. Some communities even host events throughout the entire month.

How do people celebrate National Family Literacy Day? They organize read-a-thons, book drives, and more. And anyone can participate! Schools, libraries, and literacy organizations often host these events. Teachers, parents, children, and anyone else can join in the celebration.

Family literacy programs bring parents and children together. They help families enhance their education and acquire new life skills. And we believe that is wonderful! How will your family celebrate National Family Literacy Day? Will you read a bedtime story together? Perhaps you will create one of your own. However you choose to celebrate, we hope you enjoy learning together with your loved ones.

Give It a Try

Are you ready to spend some time learning as a family today? Take a look at the activities below!

Fun Activities for National Family Literacy Day

Activity 1: Create a Bedtime Story Together

Why not write your very own bedtime story as a family? Start by exploring the art of writing imaginative stories. Then, let your creativity flow and invent your own character and exciting adventure for them. Remember to structure your story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Once you’re done, have a blast reading your masterpiece together!

Activity 2: Plan Your Family’s Celebration

Are you ready to celebrate National Family Literacy Day with your loved ones? Start by planning how you want to commemorate this special day. Consider options such as visiting the library, reading a specific number of books as a family, or even writing stories or letters for each other. The possibilities are endless! Take the time to collaborate and plan your unique celebration today.

Activity 3: Tell a Story Through Pictures

Did you know that pictures can tell captivating stories? In fact, some of the oldest recorded stories were depicted in pictures. Take one of your favorite bedtime stories and try retelling it using a series of illustrations. Gather your art supplies and let your imagination run wild!

Wonder Sources

  • https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/archaeology-cave-art-drawings-indonesia-palaeolithic-animals-a9248886.html (accessed 08 July 2020)
  • http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/celebrate-national-family-literacy-20681.html (accessed 08 July 2020)

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