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The Reading Teacher

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Early childhood education -- Curricula


This article highlights research exploring the benefits of small group storytelling as a way to promote rich language in early childhood classrooms. Using the storytelling of children from a preschool classroom serving lower SES children, the collaborative affordances of story circles are explored. Results show that small group storytelling engages children in ways of using language associated with literacy learning. When storytelling, children use language in extended, multi-clause turns, relaying what happened in another context. Story requires children to communicate what happened as well as the interpersonal significance of events. Small group storytelling also gives children a chance to practice diverse genres of story and variations in forms of meaning-making. The aim of the article is to help teachers appreciate the powerful uses of language present even in children’s seemingly simple stories.


This is the accepted version of the following article: Flynn, E. E. (2016). Language-rich early childhood classroom: Simple but powerful beginnings. The Reading Teacher, 70(2), 159–166, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the Wiley Self- Archiving Policy

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