How to Teach Storytelling
How to Teach Storytelling
Interested in teaching children how to tell a story? Running an English classroom and it’s time to teach the unit on narrative writing? Whatever the reason, you may need some help teaching storytelling. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get students up to speed so they can write beautiful narratives in no time. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about teaching storytelling.

Learn effective storytelling techniques.

Teach others the art of telling stories by first becoming an engaging storyteller. Take a storytelling class. Sign up for a storytelling workshop at a college or community center. Practice telling stories. Strengthen your storytelling skills by taking the opportunity to tell relevant stories whenever possible to your colleagues, students, friends, relatives and neighbors.

See how people respond to you.

Notice the reactions of others to your stories. Attentiveness, laughter, an emotional response and/or sustained eye contact are indications that you are achieving your storytelling goal. A listener's attempts to change the subject, fidgety mannerisms and general inattentiveness may indicate a need to adjust the pace, tone, details or other elements of your storytelling technique.

Improve your storytelling skills.

Make sure your audience is tracking along. If you are losing the attention of your listeners, make sure that your story is relevant to your audience and that it has a clear beginning, middle and an end. Identify your reason for telling the story and whether it will meet the needs of your listener. Use props, sounds and visual tools. If teaching young children, a story about a cat with a strange meow will capture their attention more if accompanied by your enactment of the actual meow. To persuade adults to conform to your opinion or to sell a product, using pictures and presentation software may enhance the story and help you to achieve the storytelling goal.

See if you’re ready to teach.

You’ll know you’re ready when others love your stories. You will know that you have mastered storytelling when children ask that you retell a story or adults ask you to share the story with others. Other indications that you are a storytelling master are sustained engagement on the part of your listeners and/or positive changes in behavior as a result of telling a story.

See who you’re teaching.

Identify the age group of your storytelling class. Your students may be young children in a school where you are already a teacher. Or they may be adults who report to you in a marketing firm where you are a manager.

Determine what your students need.

Assess the needs of the specific age group and plan accordingly. Give explanations and structure to children. Young children need structured activities, continual guidance and verbal instructions. Provide a syllabus, handout and reading materials to adults. Teens and adults are more self-directed and benefit from materials that they can read on their own, such as an explanation of storytelling techniques and upcoming assignments.

Teach storytelling techniques.

Use your skills to communicate your knowledge. Share the knowledge and skills that you gained in the process of becoming an effective storyteller. Ask the class to think of an interesting story. Provide ideas related to the particular age group and goal of the class. A public speaking class intended to improve an adults social life will tell different types of stories than a group of salespeople trying to sell a product.

Give feedback.

Provide your students with info they need to improve. Observe your own engagement while listening to students' stories, as well as classmates' reactions. Pay particular attention to the storytelling speed, tone, details, gestures, props and graphics tools. Encourage students by providing positive feedback. Public speaking is a prevalent fear, so comment on things that students did well to generate a desire to continue perfecting their storytelling skills. Provide constructive criticism. Instead of saying that a story was boring, draw the student's attention to areas of the story that can be enlivened by adding interesting details or voice inflections.

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