4 out of 4 stars
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The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom is a great book written by master Montessori storyteller Michael Dorer.
With foreword by Paul Epstein, PhD, The Deep Well of Time is a book of stories and a book about how to tell stories to inspire, explain and motivate young children as is the practice in Montessori schools. The author explains how Montessori elementary teachers place great emphasis on storytelling as an essential tool of instruction as it utilizes the power of children’s creative imagination.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I is an elaborate discussion about Storytelling including definition, benefits of storytelling and the different kinds of stories that can be used in the classroom setting. Moreover, the author explains why we use stories, when should stories be offered and the role of a storyteller. Furthermore, the author gives valuable advice on effective way of telling stories from preparing to tell a story, telling the story and after telling the story. He also shares important pointers on how to create your own stories.
Part II is a collection of wonderful stories including The Great Lessons which explain how the universe, life and language came to be; Curriculum Stories for Language Arts, History and Mathematics; Personal Stories and Other Stories, some of which are written by the book author himself, while some are by other authors and are included in this book with permission. The book also features illustrations that go along with some stories including The Mural of Life and The Timeline of Life.
This is a great, amazing, well-written, well-researched and well-referenced book for teachers, school owners, school administrators, parents, children and anybody who loves stories and loves telling them. The author uses two different tones, both of them effective, in writing the book. The first part is written in academic tone common in textbooks and other reference materials. In the second part, the author uses his storyteller tone, less formal yet expressing a great deal of respect for the intelligence and imagination of his young audience, which I can imagine is very effective in reaching out to and getting the attention of children.
The stories included in the book are easy to comprehend and easy to relate to in addition to being entertaining and amusing making the otherwise complicated and profound lessons very interesting like The First Great Lesson: The Story of the Universe. The stories I find the most amusing are The Piece of Paper that Sees and Speaks, which portrays the importance of reading, and The Love Story of the Lines, which differentiates divergent lines from parallel and convergent lines. The ones I find the most enlightening are Measuring the Farm which simplifies how to measure area and Discovery of Soap which gives an ordinary thing found in the house an extraordinary story. I also love the personal stories shared by the author. More than amusing and entertaining, the stories teach the children to be thankful for what they have.
I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Though I noticed some typo errors (like shows the all of the pieces and which can obtained by) they are thankfully too few to detract from the enjoyment of reading the book. I recommend it to teachers, school administrators and parents around the world.
The Deep Well of Time
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