Using Storytelling in the Classroom as a Form of Teaching

Essay by LuckyLucianoA+, April 2004

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Using Storytelling in the Classroom as a Form of Teaching

Storytelling and narrative have both been used as a teaching device for hundreds of years. Their roots have surrounded religion, generally as an easier way of understanding the beliefs better. From the early views of Animism and Taoism, later to the views of Judaism and Christianity, and throughout time to today, stories have been used to teach the young and old. However, stories are not only used to teach about religious beliefs. Parents use stories to teach their children many facts about life. Elders use stories to teach the newer generation about humility or the value of work. However, storytelling has been used only sparingly in today's classroom.

Storytelling is a very unique way of teaching. It is nearly the exact opposite of the formal way of education. A good storyteller does not recite cut and dry facts. Instead, the narrator is tasked with creating a captivating and unique story.

However, not only must the story gain interest from the audience, it must also have a moral that can be understood by all of the listeners. This is the key if teachers are trying planning on using educational stories in school. Unfortunately, that is also the hardest part. Converting all of the nuances emotions into cognitive speech is difficult, but making certain that all of your audience can understand it is an immense challenge.

The use of storytelling should be increased throughout all levels of schooling, as there are many benefits to its uses in education. Stories have many advantages over the traditional styles of education, even if the stories are factual. One advantage over cut and dry facts is that one story can have multiple meanings and morals. A fine example is Francisco Jimenez's "The Circuit", which is...