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Odds Bodkin’s Philosophy: Children & Imagination
If today’s children are digitally “re-wired,” why bother with spoken-word storytelling? Unlike movies, there are no visuals. Where’s the interactivity? Where are the buttons? On the surface, the entertainment experience looks incomplete.
Simply put, therein lies its power. The act of listening taps our inborn ability to create mental images. If “imagination is more important than knowledge” as Einstein famously said, then the very act of imagining builds strength and flexibility in the minds of children, firing up new neural nets and improving their ability to gain knowledge across the board. It’s not just stories they learn, it’s how to use their minds. Spoken-word stories are interactive with the brain itself.
Timeless ones––fairytales, myths, folktales, sacred stories––still exist because they carry ethical lessons that generations have seen fit to pass on. Because most cultures worldwide believe that kindness, courage, loyalty, truthfulness, compassion, curiosity and other virtues enhance our lives, they’ve always told stories about them. My favorites are here, brought to life with characters and something else––flavored music. I create my own, performed live as I speak. The same way movie music can excite us, relax us, even scare us, the music works as a second dramatic voice to guide young listeners’ feelings.
The best ethical teaching takes place when kids are thoroughly entertained.