Storytelling is a traditional art followed by our forefathers. It is something that can be enjoyed during babyhood up to early teens.
Unfortunately, our children are born in a media-centric age where television and the internet have taken priority over these simple pleasures and these early experiences of childhood are slowly fading from their lives.
Storytelling has tremendous benefits for your child’s development. Children love a good story, especially those that end with a moral.
Benefits Of Storytelling:
Story telling has many benefits like:
- It helps children develop good language and comprehension skills.
- For younger children, listening to the storyteller’s words helps them learn pronunciation.
- It nurtures their inner imagination and creativity.
- It helps in expanding their limited vocabulary.
- The whole idea of a story being told, from the plot to the end, creates a magical experience for children.
- Storytelling can be used as a medium to explain complex topics like friendship, fear and love and also about cultures and life philosophies.
- Children can also learn the difference between good and bad through the characters or their deeds in the story. This in turn can help them make right decisions in real life situations.
- Also, stories are best when they have an interesting moral in the end. These are a huge hit with children and they can reap huge benefits from listening to such stories.
[ Read: Lion And Jackal Story ]
One such story with a good moral is the “Town mouse and the Country mouse.”
The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse Story:
Short stories like this one are always entertaining and interesting for children, the story goes like this:
- One day the town mouse visits his cousin the country mouse at his house in the country.
- There, the country mouse, who is excited to play host to the town mouse, serves a humble dinner with beans, bacon, cheese and some bread.
- The town mouse with a lot of pride isn’t happy about what his country cousin has served him and asks how he can live in such poor and deprived conditions.
- The town mouse, wanting to show the country mouse how to live life, invites the country mouse back to his place and the country mouse accepts his invitation.
- They travelled all day long and reached the town mouse’s house late at night. The town mouse took him straight to the grand dining room.
- There, the country mouse was amazed to see remains of a fine feast and soon he found himself indulging in jellies and cakes.
- Just as the country mouse was enjoying his food, they were interrupted by a loud noise that seemed liked growling and barking.
- When the country mouse asked his town cousin what that was, he replied they were just dogs. Soon as he could finish his sentence, in came running two huge mastiffs that made the two mice scamper to safety.
- Just after this incident the country mouse decides it’s time to go back to his country house, to which the town mouse asks why he’s leaving so early.
- The country mouse says he’s better off eating his beans, bacon cheese and bread in peace than have cakes and ale in fear.
[ Read: Crane And Crab Story ]
Moral Of The Story:
The story of the town mouse and the country mouse moral is that it’s better to live happily with little and be content, rather than live with abundance or a lot of something, but in fear all your life.
- The town mouse had the best of food and luxury at the town house he lived in, but every minute was lived in fear for his life.
- The country mouse though doesn’t have much to live on, but he’s happy and content with it and lives each day with satisfaction.
[ Read: Lion And Hare Story ]
Why Should You Cultivate The Habit of Storytelling?
Story telling is a part of our tradition that should be continued and not let to die. Our children are born in a media dominant age where it’s all about instant gratification via cartoons and video games.
Why To Start Storytelling?
It’s a wonderful way to bond with your child especially for working parents who are busy all day. Curling up in bed together and reading a story would be a much needed break.
- By story telling you can weave your own imagination into the story and teach any important life lessons from your own experiences that you wish your child to learn.
- It is lesser time spent in front of the television. Storytelling can also be a good method to correct your child when he shows an unaccepted behavior.
[ Read: Inspirational Stories For kids ]
Storytelling can establish a strong foundation in your child’s future social, emotional development. So don’t hold back on this simple yet important part of your child’s early experiences.
Do you have an interesting story to share with us? Please do so we would love to hear about it.
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After sharing Jan Brett's wonderful version, we used a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the Town Mouse and Country Mouse. Next we learned where our work would take us - our project!
Town Mouse Country Mouse Project
We discussed the meaning of rural, suburban, and urban communities. Which did the children think fit our community of Arlington? After we decided that Arlington IS a suburban community, I told them about our exciting project - that we would be the "Town Mice", while another second grade class in Berlin, Wisconsin would be the "Country Mice"!
Note: I used the following resource for this lesson - Types of Communities.
I would highly recommend it for teaching this concept!
Step 1 - Our first job was to find the answers to some questions about our own town.
We would use the answers to compare/contrast our town with that of our country cousins.
|Mouse Town: Arlington, MA|
Size: 5.5 square miles
Government: Town Manager and Board of Selectmen
Elementary Schools: 7
# Second Graders: 411
Founded: In 1635 as Menotomy
Name changed to Arlington in 1867
|Mouse Country: Berlin, WI|
Size: 6.3 square miles
Government: Mayor and City Council
Elementary Schools: 2
# Second Graders: 117
Founded: In 1846
Integrating Math, Science and Geography
Step 2 - Tracking and Comparing Temperatures
Children were asked to begin to record and compare
Mouse Town and Mouse Country temperatures at home.
Learn more about our communities' temperatures and place on the map here.
Step 3 - Our next step was to draft a letter about ourselves, using the same questions that our country cousins would use. These were then typed in the Computer Lab using the Town Mouse Country Mouse E-Cards on Jan Brett's site and sent to Mrs. Coats' class. (BTW - We were THRILLED to receive our e-cards from our "Country Cousins" in Mrs. Coats' class!)
Step 4 - Writing Character Poems
To help our "Country Cousins" learn more about us, we created character poems.
You can view our poems here.
Step 5 - Learning more about Mouse Town
As we were working on the project at school, the children began to learn more about our own Mouse Town community, Arlington, MA, at home. At school, a list of Arlington "landmarks" was generated, and then, with a partner, research on these landmarks was assigned for homework. Children brought in interesting facts and these were typed in Kidspiration in our Computer Lab. The children's work was put together to create our very own online Town Mouse, Town Mouse book. To read our book and learn how we did this, please take a peek by clicking on the link! Note: We plan to import our images into Kidpix pages, add our voices, and create a Kidpix slideshow!
Our "country cousins" wrote their own book! Read Country Mouse, Country Mousehere.
Step 6 - Surprise Valentines
We wanted to surprise our Country Cousins with something special for Valentine's Day.
Here you see Pitter and Patter, along with our chief groundhog, Burrow. We thought Pitter looked like a Country Mouse and Patter looked more like a Town Mouse, so we decided to keep Pitter as a reminder of our country cousin friends, and sent along Patter to Berlin as a remembrance of us, their Town Mouse friends. To learn more about our valentine surprise click here.
Step 7 - Comparing Ourselves to Our "Country Cousins"
How were we alike? How we were different? Those were our questions as we reread our letters from our country cousins. Then we completed a Venn Diagram, comparing and contrasting ourselves to our Country Mice friends. This information would be used later in the Computer Lab with Kidspiration.
Adapted from Three Fine Mice by Susan Traugh
(Sung to Tune of "Three Blind Mice")
Eighteen smart mice, eighteen smart mice,
Eighteen nice mice, eighteen nice mice,
Eighteen happy mice, eighteen happy mice,
|As our project ended on Valentine's Day, we decided to have a Mouse Theme for our party.|
Eva's mom made us delicious "mouse" cupcakes and Sam's mom brought in cheezits (after all, mice love cheese), and Giulia even hand-made adorable mice valentines for everyone!
P.S. Thanks to Myles' mom for the drinks, too!
Learn how this project aligned with the standards