Thursday, September 13, 2012

Unit 12 Story Telling

Storytelling is an excellent teaching strategy because stories ignite student interest, help students create vivid mental images and stories activate the thinking process. Stories form a framework for connecting events and concepts. This helps students better understand and later recall information. Stories provide depth to a concept going beyond a fact, a definition, or an outline of textbook material. Stories take information out of isolation, placing the information in a context that makes the information meaningful and memorable. Whether you use a story as a way of meeting an instructional objective or to illustrate a point, students will listen to a good, relevant story and will stay with you wanting to know what happens.
Opening a lesson with a story may put the students at ease and allow them to understand something concrete before going on to the related abstract concept. Depending on the age of the students, storytelling can be used in almost any subject area. English and History spring to mind as storytelling subjects, but storytelling can extend to the social sciences, science, health, music, art, and just about every subject being taught.
You can be the storyteller or you can use technology to tell a story. Multimedia presentations can be used to create an interactive element to the storytelling. Digital storytelling is also becoming popular for classroom use. Many textbooks come with supplementary materials for teachers and this can be a good source for stories. Teaching Web sites can also be tapped for stories that can either be used as written or can be adapted to align with a particular teaching objective.
Here are some tips to help with story selection and implementation:
1)   Choose the best stories for your classroom and objectives -
Select stories that are a good match for your storytelling skills or for the multimedia techniques you may use. Choose stories that have an interactive element to engage and hold student interest.
2)   Set the scent rather than diving right into your story. Time, place, and background are important to a story's success
3)   Bring the characters to life. - Characterization is very important. Use dialog and expression to make it seem as though they are right there with you and your audience
4)   Use transitions to reveal the story. - Accentuate the plot so that your audience can experience the rise and fall pattern of the story. Present it so they are right there with you through your sequence of events.
5)   Be aware of your students who are your audience. - Engage your audience in your story and keep them in view so that you can gauge their comprehension and enjoyment of your audience. Pick up on cues from them to check for understanding and interest.
6)   Practice your story before telling it to your class.- If you are using a multimedia presentation or digital storytelling, become very familiar with the equipment and program, so that problems don't steal time from your lesson.
Storytelling is magical and storytelling is a very effective instructional strategy for introducing new material, reteaching, or review. Students can get involved and can even participate in class stories. Storytelling definitely has a place in education today.

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