“I think it is because we learn best by telling and receiving stories. Not facts. Stories. And songs are just stories set to music. Sometimes they rhyme. Sometimes they don’t. Some are fast and others slow. Some are melodic. Others are nerve bangingly not. The one thing nearly all songs (with lyrics at least) have in common is that they tell a story.”
When I read this I realized how true this was! I learn best by linking the stories to the learning. If I can remember the story, I usually can remember the concept that I have learned. Why would I not think that my students wouldn’t learn the same way?
I began thinking of the songs I liked and why I liked them. I definitely liked the ones that told a story set to music. I think many of the songs of today that I can’t relate to are ones that I can’t relate to. Many of these songs don’t seem to tell a story to me or I can’t make any sense of them.
I have started to make a list of concepts that are important to me and then jotting down the stories that symbolize that concept. The stories are personal and real life. They help me share memories and help my students see how the concepts relate to me personally. I find that if my students can’t associate the concepts they are learning to real life, the learning has no relevance to them.
Telling stories is fun for the storyteller as well as the listener. I love having guest speakers come in to share their personal stories. Near Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, it is fun to have veterans come in and tell their stories. They love to share and my students love to hear them. If I have a career day, I try to find what careers interest my students and find people in that field to share stories about their jobs.
Do you tell stories in your class to teach lessons? If so, how do you use storytelling in your classroom? Please share.
Image: 'Princess Storytelling with Aurora - Sleeping Beauty'