3 reasons why you should use story-telling in your lessons

Storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation or some form of enhancement. Every culture has its own local stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, or instilling moral values among its people. Oral communication of information, when presented as a story, draws greater attention than written or normally spoken language. Thus storytelling as a teaching tool goes beyond the usual presentation of facts, information and data.

While traditional education doesn’t allow much storytelling to be used in the instruction mode, many teachers try to include this effective technique while teaching their classes, even while teaching online from home.

Here are the top 3 benefits of using story-telling in your lessons:

  • Improves verbal skills:

Teachers usually refer to textbooks or PowerPoint presentations to teach in their classes in the traditional teaching mode. Due to time restrictions, they need to stick only to the facts and figures. This can become quite boring for students, especially while learning theory-heavy subjects like history or geography. However, if taught using storytelling, this is not the case. Both the narrator and the listener are subject to a lot of communication and language in the act of storytelling. Thus, it improves the verbal and communication skills of the teacher and those of the students. The students need to be adept at listening attentively and understanding the content of stories while avoiding being distracted. This is especially applicable while teaching online from home, because with a lack of face-to-face interaction, there is a higher possibility of students lacking interest and feeling disengaged.

  • Helps in better understanding of concepts

Every one of us is fond of stories. It’s because we love imagination. Instead of reading content from textbooks, we always enjoy watching movies and listening to stories, because it kindles our imagination. We are visual creatures, after all. Reading is a relatively modern concept, but storytelling is age-old, even before humans knew how to write. Thus when you use storytelling in your classes, your students will remember the concepts better because now they will be able to connect the concepts and have visual memory of the classes. They will invoke more than one senses and thus help in better retention ability. Especially while teaching online from home, it will improve the understanding of students who might otherwise feel lost by reading just PowerPoint on the screen.

  • Encourages active participation of students

Stories need not be just one way. As mentioned before, storytelling can be of multiple forms. You can certainly ask students to participate by modifying the form of stories: e.g by conducting a skit or asking students small questions while teaching. All this will help in making students an active part of learning and they will never get bored in classes. This is especially useful while teaching theory-heavy subjects like History. If you are teaching online from home, you use some simple games or quizzes while using stories to teach a subject. This will encourage them to unmute themselves and actively engage in your classes.

Does being a good storyteller make you a good teacher? The answer is ‘it depends’. But does it improve the effectiveness of your classes? The answer is a certain yes. You can certainly draw more attention to your teaching rather than students yawning or doodling in their classes.

Times are changing rapidly and technology is penetrating every sector, including education. Teachers have to gear up more than ever to stay relevant. At LEAD, we ensure teachers get to stay up to date with the latest technology, trends and teaching techniques so that they always stay on the top of their game. We aim to build the largest community of teachers in India under the umbrella of LEAD Academy, to create successful teachers via the ‘3C’ approach:

  • Connect by building a community and providing a safe learning environment
  • Coach on the latest pedagogy, digital and communication skills
  • Create career opportunities for the community across partner schools & in LEAD

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About the author

Siddharth is a Senior Content Executive in the Content Marketing Team at LEAD School. He is an alumnus of Delhi University and has been working as a Content Writer/Copywriter for the past 7 years in Ed-Tech and various other industries. He truly believes in LEAD's mission of providing excellent education and works tirelessly towards it, every day.

Siddharth Saxena

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