How Can Stories Help Bridge Cultural Differences?

This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days

Stories are such a powerful tool, they can help us to make sense of the world and each other. This is because we are hardwired to learn this way and that’s why there is no better way to help young children learn about each other and each other’s cultures.

Although we live in a very multi-cultural society there are just as many similarities between us as there are differences and using stories, especially fairytales, from around the world is a brilliant way of helping children to understand those similarities and differences.

So how can we use stories to help children learn about each other?

There are numerous versions of the fairytale Cinderella that have been written and it’s been told in many different countries. We came up with about 14 or 15 at the last count and we’re sure there are more!  In one session we picked Yeh Shen which is a Chinese version and used it to discuss the similarities and differences between the two stories.

After reading both stories to the children we talked about what similarities and differences there were between them, e.g. there was a wicked stepmother in both Cinderella and Yeh Shen but in Yeh Shen it was fishbones that helped her whereas in Cinderella it was the fairy godmother.

Talking through the stories in this way is an important thinking skill for young children as well as a great way to boost their comprehension. It also helps children to understand other cultrures as each fairytale will bring elements of the culture into the story.

In addition children learn to experience different emotions from love and hope to anger and loneliness. They see the difference between right and wrong and the moral messages it conveys and they also see that we all experience the same universal emotions no matter where you come from.

To find out more about how to use stories from around the world, come along to our next workshop ‘Tales from Around the World’ on the 27th January 2020 and get some practical hands on advice and some fresh ideas.

Learn more and book here.

Written by Little Creative Days
Tonya and Natasha, the storytelling sisters, are authors of a series of books about a little dog called Pojo who gets itchy paws and goes off on adventures.

They have won multiple awards for their puppet making kits that accompany the stories including Teach Early Years Excellence award for Communication and Language Resource.

Comments are closed here.