More About Storytelling

Some types of stories told by oral storytellers

  • Folk tales
  • Myths
  • Legends
  • Fairy tales
  • narrative poems
  • Narrative jokes
  • Tall tales
  • Multicultural stories
  • Urban Myths
  • Fables
  • wisdom tales
  • personal experience stories
  • literary
  • sacred and teaching stories
  • Wonder tales
  • historical and heritage stories
  • Ghost stories
  • Yarns
  • Trickster stories
  • Epics or episodes from epics

Stories are also grouped in collections by reference to a theme (eg animals, ecology, monsters), a specific region or country, or by recurrent motifs (eg abandonment, transformation, lost in forest).

Purposes oral stories are told include, to…

  • entertain, distract, and divert
  • develop oracy and literacy
  • express oneself (as teller)
  • enthuse about historical events and people
  • nurture particular social attitudes and values
  • develop problem-solving skills
  • provide a vehicle and narrative genre for learning English

(ie ESL and EFL , and ESOL)

  • nurture an appreciation of cultural diversity
  • supplement school subject learning (eg literature, history, maths & science)
  • nurture imagination and creativity
  • transmit cultural and family stories across generations
  • contribute to psychological healing
  • develop an organisational culture
  • provoke self-reflection on personal attitudes about

controversial topics (eg racism, sexism etc)

Is there anything that can’t be done with storytelling?

By far the most common purposes are to entertain, distract, and divert. . And of course, these main purposes may be achieved with other ones concurrently.

Many of these purposes, however, can only be achieved with very specific story types, by using the stories as part of a well-designed workshop, or by incorporating storytelling into skilful teaching processes.


Occasions and settings where storytellers may tell …

Member storytellers

  • At their regular story sharing meetings
  • At concerts we hold from time to time
  • Some individuals have family and community events and clubs where they tell’ sometimes professionally (eg weddings; birthdays; reunions).
  • At special events where a subgroup of members can attend as a group (eg Medieval Fair; Residential Care facilities; with donations to the association)

Professional storytellers (Tellers who maintain themselves as career, business, main occupation)

  • Social & Educational Institutions : for example, working in schools, kindergartens, universities, festivals, social clubs, training seminars, on trains, planes and tour cruisers.
  • Special commissioned project performances (alone or in collaboration with other storytellers, musicians, or visual or performing artists)