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I think that storytelling is

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I think that storytelling is central in language learning and can be used to make lessons turn around it in a course. I mean that teachers can base all the activities upon a story, changing the progressive line they are used to in favour of a storytelling expansion. In a study of an economic case, for example, the story of a career with all its backsides can be explored to study economic aspects as contracts, interviews, CV, management in an integrated and motivated way where they become real and live in a personal and human situation.
Thank you for your presentation and interest in stories.

Teacher of Classical Humanities at Lyceum (High School) from Bologna, Italy

Telling stories is a beatiful

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Telling stories is a beatiful way to teach and to learn. I think that it's indispensable "to ignite" our students. But I have a question: how it's possible to combine Storytelling with subjects? When I teach italian literature is easy telling stories. But when I have to teach some specific topic (e.g. a translation from greek or a complex latin construction), I can't tell stories, I need to be precise and rigorous. To talk about Dante'Hell is not problematic: students are fascinated from Comedy. The problem is to create passion about others topics, more technical (but essencial!). So, if you want, help me and show me examples of your teaching and of your conjugating Storytelling with Scholastic praxis. Thanks a lot! P.s. I would like there will be in Italy too a living debat about School like this! (sorry for my bad English).

6th Grade Science Teacher from SC and a teacher encourager online.

Stories are key. Think about

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Stories are key. Think about it, why are blogs so popular? They are a personal take on what is going on in the world or a niche part of it. They are facts woven in with story. To me, Ignite Talks sound like a verbal, live blog post. They have many of the same elements.

If this is what draws us, teachers, in to the content being talked about, then it would be the same for our students and their families. Lets make our schools and classrooms more personal and relational...storytelling is a part of that!

One aspect of storytelling that was not brought up is that of the creative story. I think this is where PBL comes in. The more imaginative we can make the problem/project, the more compelling and relevant it will be. Draw students into a story. Make them a character in a story with a conflict that requires content to be learned in order to come to a resolution. This is what I am going to attempt in my Science classes next year. I want to draw the students in with the story so that they forget that they at learning, which they will do long the arc of the story.

Thanks for writing this. It was a great piece! You are awesome!

Distance Education Specialist

People will always remember

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People will always remember stories. I can remember stories since my childhood but I can't remember facts. I like how you point out that stories can inspire if you ignite them!

Teacher, Writer, and Artist


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A long time ago, a Christ-haunted writer, Flannery O’Connor, wrote a Christ-haunted story called “The River” about a little boy named Harry Ashfield whose party animal parents find him a new babysitter who takes him to hear a hick preacher at an orange river. The new babysitter isn’t some hot, high school cheerleader who is pretty good with kids and needs money. The new babysitter, Mrs. Connin, is a cynical, critical, speckled-skin, night-shift working, Jesus freak task-master whose own children have no manners.

At the end of the story, Harry drowns himself in the river, gladly.

Before Bevel drowns himself in the river, several other fascinating things happen: Harry personally changes his name to “Bevel;” Bevel, upon being introduced to Mrs. Connin’s three sons, immediately gets bullied by them; Bevel gets run over by a pig and cries about it for five minutes; Bevel steals a picture book about Jesus from Mrs. Connin; Bevel gets baptized in the orange river by a preacher whose name is also Bevel; and early the next morning Bevel rides the street trolley out of town all by himself with no problem at all while his parents sleep off their hangovers after the previous evening’s orgy. Then, later that morning, after his trolley ride, Bevel drowns himself in the river … while the local gas station owner, who has a purple tumor hanging off the side of his head, chases after Bevel in the river with a huge peppermint stick. Flannery O’Connor is my favorite writer of all time.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, I read the story to my literature fanatics in 2nd period language arts class. They loved it. And then, today, I read some questions to them about the story and they answered them on paper. There were seventeen questions in all and one asked them if they thought Bevel was smart or stupid. Another question asked them … As it refers to Mrs. Connin, what do you think “skeleton” means? The last question was this: On the deepest level, what do you think the story is about?

Kells wrote … I think this story is about a boy. A boy that thinks he can find happiness in the river. The happiness about not being around drunks and smokers.

Clutch wrote … Bevel was trying to Baptize himself in the river so that all his Pane was gone. Which was to stop his Parents from having Partys and getting Drunk.

Good for Kells and Clutch. I didn’t mark their answers are wrong. We all figured that Bevel was a whole lot happier now, too, floating in a river that probably led to the beach. Red and Peetie weren’t convinced Bevel was dead. When you think about it, the story really never said so.

Next week we’re going to read another Flannery O’Connor story, “Revelation.” On the best level it’s a story about a nasty fat girl who’s smart in school who beans a smug fat woman in the head with a huge book called Human Development while they’re both sitting in a waiting room, waiting on the same doctor. Leading up to this revelation takes up almost half of the story.

Honestly, why go any deeper, or read any further?

Journalist and PBL advocate

Robert--Lovely story! Thanks

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Robert--Lovely story! Thanks for sharing. Reminds me that good stories require not just tellers but also listeners.

Wow - talk about timing?!?

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Wow - talk about timing?!? This is my post from earlier today. It highlights the need for teachers and students to find a piece of common ground through storytelling and that this will open the doors for greater communication and sharing. It also points out that people need to take responsibility for writing and sharing their own stories. Will Richardson calls it becoming "well Googled" - a phrase that I have grown to support wholeheartedly. Terrific post Suzie - thank you for the forum.


Telling stories is the only

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Telling stories is the only way my students listen to me.

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