5 Top Secrets to a Great Storytelling; When There’s More to Tell

Do you remember the first time you saw an image of a jellyfish? Or a man on the moon? Or a picture of a housefly’s eye that was so magnified that it looked like a mountain range?
“Great teachers are great storytellers. By creating connections between the content they are presenting and the real world, teachers can make learning more interesting and memorable”.
These words from the speakers of the workshop I attended last year, left me with the inspiration to become a great storyteller in the classroom.

I quote the compelling  words of Kenneth Blanchard “The best way to teach people is by telling a story.”

As a teacher for years, I believe in him. Noticeably, children are very interested when they hear dialogues and expressions. And these linguistic elements are found in storytelling.

Now, let me share with you the 3 top secrets to a great storytelling. When there’s more to tell, you should snatch the opportunity and make the most of the instructional time.

Hence, give me a moment, for I have a story to tell.

students reading books

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Storytelling is the best strategy used by TED speakers to convey a meaningful thought to an audience. And they are all effective speakers and master storytellers.  Because they all have a good story to tell and they just impressively know how to share it and impact others’ perspectives, they are indeed winsome and effective. 

Now, imagine yourself being a TED speaker in front of your students. How do you tell a good story?

Everyone has a story to tell and stories are everywhere.

Although not everyone is gifted with the art of storytelling,  it can be honed knowing that it’s the greatest art in the universe that’s within our human boundaries! 

Additionally, I believe that teachers appreciate storytelling as a teaching strategy. And it’s very encompassing. Its extensive relevance is not only effective for language subjects alone but in all subject areas.

“Storytelling is the oldest form of education.” – Terry Tempest Williams

Did you know that the grammar family was one of the most exciting families in the whole universe? Have you heard about the magical story of the royal family,  King Verb and Queen Noun, and their prince and princess? Their colorful world of existence marked the beginning of sensible and eloquent language. 

“Really teacher? Were there fairies in their kingdom too, just like in the fairy tale I knew?”, one of my little ones got curious.

Yes, and they are most likely like us too!  And did you know that the Grammar family did something great for how we speak and compose our thoughts today? They might live in a faraway kingdom a long time ago, but the members of the grammar family still live with us today. 

“Have you wondered how was this possible?”, I asked. 

I could see the excitement on my students’ faces. And they leaned forward to listen for more.

How was this very impactful? 

Getting the attention of our students through storytelling is one effective strategy that can help students learn different and complex concepts in an enjoyable way. 

Sharing the story of the Grammar family in a kingdom far away is a great way to teach young minds about English grammar concepts.

And we can make an impact through effective storytelling. It’s one of the best ways to give students hints about what to learn and to keep them on track.

If you want to become an effective storyteller, then you have to master the art of storytelling and practically apply it in your teaching routines. 

In order to make your students engaged and motivated, you should tell them a good story to facilitate hard concepts, especially in maths.  But how to tell a good story? 

Likewise, presenting a word problem in a straightforward manner can raise eyebrows or cause wrinkles on one’s forehead. Whereas, if you use characters and create a relevant plot to put emphasis on the process, perhaps it can make a big difference.

 Significantly, with my years as a classroom teacher, I admit to giving two thumbs up to storytelling as a teaching strategy.  A story no matter how good will turn out flat if the process of telling it is dull and boring. You can’t just navigate the prowess of this teaching strategy if you haven’t mastered and tried yet the art of storytelling.

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” Robert McKee

Making your way toward your most impactful teaching strategy should not skip the art of storytelling as a teaching strategy

Whether you are to engage your students in a new lesson or reinforce a certain competency, your impactful teaching goals are best delivered by embedding storytelling into the flow of your instruction.

Definitely, it needs good interpretative and expressive skills, but you can acquire this through practice and the best applications. 

The art of storytelling impacts student learning in meaningful ways. At the end of the day, it isn’t the narrative that matters, but how it improves the learning environment and how it makes students learn at their best.

5 Top Secrets to a Great Storytelling

Discussing the art of storytelling as a teaching strategy

storytelling at home

#1 Express, don’t just read.

Learning the art of storytelling requires us to be expressive of the written piece and not just by reading it aloud. As the greatest expression of humanity all over the globe, storytelling extends a powerful connection to childhood experiences that make young learners get excited about what to learn. 

A good narrative entertains and evokes emotions, however, the story doesn’t just end there. With the best intention of integrating storytelling into your lessons as a teaching tool, you need your equally powerful expression of lines to get attention and win student engagement. 

#2 Amplify the relevance.

A good story when told nicely impacts the listeners. And pointing out its relevance to the topic and to the life of your students is what makes a big difference in their comprehension and retention. Telling a relatable story is an effective tool to send an important message across. It’s the best way to connect with students and to make them appreciate the learning material. 

Incorporating concepts and content in your narrative will not just create the AHA moment in the classroom but it goes beyond that. Telling a story about fantasy and magical creatures with an air of relevance to what students should learn and interact about has a larger upshot on student learning. It’s just a matter of introducing today’s lesson over storylines to make students comprehend and remember information.

#3 Ask comprehension questions and teach lessons.

A good story engenders good interaction. With a good narration, young students will get curious or learn something that makes them interact with one another. As it goes, the moments of collaboration in your classroom intensify. 

Through creatively expressed dialogues and emotional plots, students get to understand complex items that branch into more meaningful self-expression. There’s more when your students begin to ask questions. Their imagination works, and their intelligence quells ignorance. And the best way to learn is to ask questions.

#4 Know what kind of stories your kids enjoy reading.

Well, the easiest way to know how to tell a story effectively in the classroom is to know what types of stories the students enjoy hearing. You need to know what information they need in order for them to understand the whole story. This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but many teachers don’t consider it.

And most importantly, you will be able to create an environment where students are engaged and interested in learning if they like the story they listened to.

#5 Grab the items below!

A few tools for embedding good storytelling in your presentation:

  • Make it personal: Tell stories about how you were impacted by your topic or how you learned about it.
  • Focus on the listener: Determine what the audience wants to hear and give it to them.
  • Show and tell: Effective teachers combine both individual stories as well as statistics to further drive home their point.
  • Make it visual: Use images, videos, and infographics to illustrate your story and help drive home certain points.

Snatch this!

The science of storytelling is not just for MBAs and screenwriters. In fact, it can be used by anyone with something to say, whether it’s in a presentation, on social media, or in a classroom.

A good story has three key elements: a person (the hero), a need or desire, and an obstacle. That’s how you can build connections and make your content relatable.

The takeaway: Good storytelling increases engagement, interest, retention, and overall memorability. We can easily incorporate these elements into their presentations to effectively convey and engage their audience.

Final Thoughts

Engaging the emotions of your students while they learn at their best is one of the best effects of storytelling as a teaching tool. Being the best activity of the mind and emotion, storytelling has been with us since time immemorial. It’s not new but its proper execution can mean a perfect tool for innovative learning that can highly make a difference in the process of education.

Harnessing the effectiveness of storytelling in the classroom is one of the best strategies that teachers must know. And believe it or not, a good story told and shared could mean multiple lessons learned. 

All you have to do is to share a good and relevant narrative in compelling and engaging ways for more exceptional results. Spread noteworthy ones and actuate student engagement!

Now, do you have a story to tell? Seize this opportunity and shoot your meaningful storytelling experiences in the comment box below.