Dr. Michael Dorer starts his book The Deep Well of Time with the precious scene of his grandfather lying beside little Michael and telling a story of the little people. Dr. Dorer relates ‘There was no book. There were no pictures or videos. There was only his voice in the warm, dark bedroom, and his tales came to vivid life in my mind’. It was not until he became a Montessori elementary teacher (some 45 years ago!), that he rediscovered this great gift of storytelling and the power of creative imaginations.
The book is divided into two parts. The first half prepares us for the second by giving us the necessary theoretical background to delve into practice. It helps us tap into the spirit of storytelling, at the same time helping us develop various skills needed to engage our curious listeners.
The latter and major part of the book is filled with stories that are put together to awaken the children’s imaginations, curiosity and wonder. This section begins with the famous Five Great Lessons in the Montessori curriculum, and continues with stories on Language Arts, History, Mathematics, and ends with some more personal stories.
Imagine being able to communicate complex mathematical concepts like the Trinomial expansion, square root, or Pythagoras’ theorem to children in the form of simple, exciting and engaging stories! Or think about how powerful and accessible history could be when conveyed in ways that link the present to the past in the form of meaningful stories…
I share in Dr. Dorer’s belief in the transforming power of storytelling, and hope this book will empower you to engage with children in inspiring and creative ways. As the cover of the book says, “The children are waiting to listen…”
You can purchase ‘The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom’ from Montessori Services
This review was written by Sid Mohandas who is a Montessori practitioner from the UK. He received his Montessori training at Montessori Centre International (MCI), London. He later pursued qualifications in Early Childhood Education with London Metropolitan University, and currently is a Research Student at Institute of Education, UCL