Learn the art of storytelling (and guess the literature references) to infuse in your classroom. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is this: Why is this an entire post about storytelling? What’s the point in spinning tales and yarns when our students aJun 29, 2018
Learn the art of storytelling (and guess the literature references) to infuse in your classroom.
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is this: Why is this an entire post about storytelling? What’s the point in spinning tales and yarns when our students are 21st-century learners? As long as there have been humans, there have been stories told. It’s how we learn from experiences, and before we had written language, we told stories orally. Stories help us relate to our students, empathize with them, and help our students process information more easily in chunks.
Ships at a distance have every student’s wish on board. Stories connect us. Many of the conversations we have in real life are in the form of stories. Teach your students how to use storytelling in their presentations to make them more engaging. Start with a story of your own that students can relate to even if they didn’t go through the exact same experience. Elements of the stories we tell one another will resonate, and we become much better active listeners.
Call me teacher. Some years ago, as a teacher, I thought it was more important to get through the content as quickly as possible in my eighth-grade science class. States of matter, symbiotic relationships between different organisms, and Newton’s First Law were (I thought) easy to understand and very straightforward. However, in my second year, I knew my content and felt comfortable easing off the reins. When I talked to my students about the ice cubes in my glass melting during the hot Arizona summer from solid to liquid and eventually the water condensing on the outside of the glass, my students got it. When I referenced a clip from a very popular movie about finding a certain fish’s missing son in the ocean, students immediately recognized the clownfish and the sea anemone’s symbiotic relationship that could easily be identified as mutualism. And finally, when I told my students about my first car accident when I bumped a parked car, they figured out that the opposing force stopping my car from continuing to be in motion was the parked car. And it won.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … to ignore the importance of storytelling. Storytelling entertains and educates us all. They’re how we make meaning out of complex information. Check out a few tips and items to consider when storytelling with your students (and teaching your students how to tell stories):
- What is the moral of the story?
- Who is your audience?
- Focus on the connection over the content.
- Keep it authentic.
Before we say “the end” we want to share these awesome resources: