Storytelling in the Classroom

Want to grab the attention of your students.  One of the best ways of doing this is to tell a story.  If you know your audience, it is sure to capture attention, and make the lesson you are giving more memorable.  In this 7 minute YouTube video you are going to learn some of the secrets of good storytelling.  The intended audience of this video is those who want to make good YouTube videos, but the lessons in this video carry over to education.

Now, I know what you’re thinking….I teach math.  How does this apply to me?

Let me tell you a story of my own.  I was in high school trigonometry, and I’m old enough to barely remember the high school I went to (haha)…. My math teacher, Mr. Jones, let us know about a former class he had that included some of the school’s football players and cheerleaders, and they were learning the quadratic equation.  He went to a Friday night game shortly after going over the concept in class, and during the game he heard a new cheer that the student body was yelling…yes, the whole school was yelling out the quadratic equation thanks to the cheerleaders in the class.  Apparently the class did quite well in that section of the class as they all had learned it, and memorized it through the football game cheering.  Mr. Jones told us he had “never been prouder!”  After his story our class then proceeded to “cheer” the quadratic equation – in class!

So did the cheerleading story really happen?  I actually don’t know, but the story was an effective tool to help my class learn, and one I still remember more than 30 years later.  Yes, stories can have a big impact on learning retention and engagement.  So, grab your student’s attention with a good story that connects them to the subject matter, and have some fun with it!