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At National Today, we are preparing our favorite snacks and reserving coveted spots for storytelling events this National Tell A Story Day on April 27. Stories have the undeniable quality of transporting us to another time and place as we sit snug in our seats. Stories are also great bonding material since people create memories as they immerse themselves in the storytelling activity. Whether they happened in real life or are a product of our imagination, stories form an interesting part of human society. In the old days, they were used as history recording tools as well as entertainment. From “Aesop’s Fables” and ancient Egypt’s hieroglyphics to modern-day Harry Potter, storytelling is no different today with the advent of shows, books, poetry, etc.
History of National Tell A Story Day
National Tell A Story Day was first celebrated in 2009 by George Rafeedie, a businessman who runs a creative marketing agency called Tell Your Story, Inc. Rafeedie’s business relies on promoting and marketing a brand through storytelling techniques. By creating a story with the product as the main character, the product is central to the plot and is viewed as important in continuing the storyline. Storytelling, at its most basic form, thus, contributes to highlighting certain themes, be it for moral purposes and/or entertainment.
The storytelling art is an ancient practice that has been used by humans for thousands of years now. “Aesop’s Fables” is one of the most well-known stories even today. Started somewhere in 500 B.C., “Aesop’s Fables” were passed down orally. Centuries later, they were also printed onto paper and now can be found even on the internet! Going further back to 30,000 B.C., people also used pigments to paint stories on cave walls, and one prominent example is the Chauvet Cave paintings. These portray hunting rituals and so forth. Another instance includes Greek and Roman mythology from 1000 B.C. where stories were either visually represented through paintings on walls, vases, ceramics, etc., or told verbally.
In modern times, print and digital media have seen quite significant progress in storytelling techniques. Cameras, both the professional ones and the ones on mobile phones, have allowed unique stories to come forward, from depicting the horrendous effects of war to joyous events like the first rainfall. On the other hand, digital media tools like TVs and the internet have become spaces for professional and non-professional storytellers to relay their ideas to the world.
National Tell A Story Day timeline
The "Epic of Gilgamesh" is printed on city walls of Uruk so that the coming generations will come to know about it.
The first photograph for visual storytelling purposes is taken and printed — it take almost another 40 years for colored photographs to come into existence.
The first network TV is invented and made available to the public to watch the news, shows, and movies.
Virtual reality, used by gamers, is invented as a physical device to be worn for a self-guided story in a game.
National Tell A Story Day FAQs
Why is story telling so important?
According to International House World Organisation: “Storytelling brings language learning alive and creates a participatory and immersive experience that allows Young Learners to enjoy hearing the language in a dynamic, sometimes stylistic and entertaining way. Participation using key vocabulary and phrases can create an awareness of rhythm and structure.”
What storytelling means?
According to Yoast, “Storytelling is about telling stories. It is about using stories to engage your audience, or to make something more clear. Photos, pictures and film of course really help to tell a good story too. Stories have always been a way to communicate. Before people learned how to write, they would tell each other stories.”
Why is storytelling so powerful?
Harvard Business Publishing states that, “Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire. What makes storytelling so effective for learning? For starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people.”
National Tell A Story Day Activities
Gather your friends and family
Plan a time with your friends and family for you all to just sit down and tell stories! This meeting can be virtual or physical. Make a day out of it by telling fictional or non-fictional stories to each other. This will not only be entertaining for all parties involved, but it will also be a great bonding time.
Participate in local events
Libraries and bookshops will most likely be holding some form of an event on April 27. Participate in these to learn about new things and make friends.
Read, watch, or listen to a story
Not only is reading a great activity for this day but so is watching a show or movie or listening to a podcast or song. You can go back to your old favorites or discover new dimensions in different fields. Whatever you choose to do, it will be hella fun!
5 Facts About Aesop That Will Blow Your Mind
All of Aesop’s writings are gone
For all the fanfare around “Aesop’s Fables,” none of his actual writings have survived, and the ones that exist today are thanks to oral tradition.
Aesop descendent of African slaves
It is believed that Aesop descended from African slaves.
Aesop’s most famous story
Amongst all the stories in “Aesop’s Fables,” “The Tortoise and the Hare” is the most famous, teaching its listeners about the value of time and being humble.
Aesop’s death sentence
Aesop was thrown off a cliff in Delphi after he had allegedly tried to steal Delphi’s treasures.
Morals through animals
Many of the stories in “Aesop’s Fables” contain anthropomorphized animals who relay moral lessons as they go through their everyday lives.
Why We Love National Tell A Story Day
It’s a celebration of storytelling traditions
Continued from ancient times to the modern day and age, storytelling is a tradition that connects different eras together. It is necessary for human evolution as it carries forward yesterday’s information into the new tomorrow.
It’s a celebration of bonding and unity
One thing that can connect us no matter our backgrounds are our universal moral lessons and similar life experiences. Storytelling, from all traditions and cultures, has shared elements of human emotions, expectations, and future goals. It makes us empathetic towards each other — a much-needed quality throughout human history.
It’s a celebration of stories
Whether you like fictional or non-fictional tales, there’s something for everyone. Not only can you get your fix of entertainment but you can also learn about history and science when watching documentaries or reading interesting science articles.
National Tell A Story Day dates