On Thursday, November 8, a group of MSMS parents and teachers met to learn about how storytelling supports child development.  We talked about how parents can have intentional and strategic access to this powerful Montessori “material” and the wonderful side effect of this practice being that it supports strong relational bonds and real conversation.  We were joined by Pika, a parent volunteer, who live drew the infographic pictured here as a means of capturing the highlights of the presentation.

Here are some of the key points of the presentation:

  • Storytelling is a uniquely human ability that has, through history, supported our sense of self, community, and history.
  • The science of storytelling reveals that through the production of cortisol, dopamine, and oxytocin that the human brain connects to stories intellectually, personally, and socially. This makes it an amazing tool in helping us be able to adapt in our ever-changing world.
  • Based on Dr. Montessori’s planes of development, children need to hear different types and lengths of stories. We focus on true stories and try to keep them as brief as possible to leave room for reflection and processing. It is a good rule of thumb that the younger the child, the shorter the story. Even stories for elementary students and adolescents need to be short enough to leave room for reflection, wonder, and curiosity.
  • The importance of developing an oral tradition within your family does not have to be elaborate or complex. Starting with stories as simple as, “This is an apple.  It is red.” and moving to a story about how you went shopping for apples supports a child’s awareness of the stories of our life. This tradition will continue as your child grows to include wonder (elementary) and a sense of self and civic awareness (adolescents).
  • Telling stories about your life, your child’s life, and your shared experiences gives children a sense of place and also helps them to see their life as a story in process. This supports a growth mindset and the development of self-compassion and forgiveness.
  • Oral telling storytelling helps children experience all elements of communication including eye-contact, vocabulary, tone, and inflection. It also allows us to focus their attention on certain aspects of the story and develop relational connections including trust and a feeling of being valued.

We concluded the meeting with three considerations:

  1. How does screen time impact a child’s sense of story?
  2. What are some times you could easily add storytelling to your day?
  3. What stories could you tell your children?
Storytelling: A Vital Tool in Child Development

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to site

Mountain Shadows Montessori School offers AMI programs for students 12 months to 12 years old.

...So, what is AMI?

Association Montessori Internationale

AMI is the organization that is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of Maria Montessori's legacy. Mountain Shadows and AMI share a mission to support children's natural development and to help them become the transformative force of society.

This comes with a commitment to a standard of excellence, defined by...


Rigorous and extensive training

including the study of child development and a deep understanding of the Montessori materials to assist the teacher in creating the environment necessary for this work.


Three-year age ranges

within each classroom that allow children to work at their own pace and level of development.


Extended work time,

including a three hour uninterrupted work cycle.


Upholding international standards

through expert consultation every three years and regular and ongoing study of pedagogy and practice.

For your child, this means...


Whether it's digging in the dirt or discovering the universe.


Whether it's speaking your mind or learning to speak up.


Whether it's composing a song or coming up with a big idea.


Whether it's for ourselves or for others.


Whether it's work or play.

Critical Thinking

Whether it's studying science or solving a problem.


Whether it's doing your part or doing what's right.


Whether it's planning your day or preparing your own lunch.


Whether it's deciding together or sharing the work.


Whether it's supporting your friends or saving the planet.

This is what Mountain Shadows means for your child.