Yes, I agree, storytelling is powerful and important – not only in classrooms. Every speech becomes more memorable and emotionally charged, when spiced with stories and we all rather like being entertained than lectured.
Picture this: Maria is highly visual and everything about school confuses her. She is only six, you know – and already there is a huge pressure. After all, in Year One there is an expectancy to read, write stories, do your numbers, sit exams and complete homework after a day, where nothing made sense. Just words, explanations. Everyone just talks and talks. Most of the words they use don’t even mean anything to Maria. They don’t add to pictures and if they do, the pictures seem to be wrong. Maria is very bright and was so looking forward to go to school and finally learn and enjoy it like her bigger sister. Now she just pretends to know it already, to find reading just boring, disrupts others when they read or makes fun. She already knows that she is different to her friends, who seem to understand so much more. ‘What’s wrong with me? ‘ she wants to know.
One day, she sits in class, looking bored and feeling stupid, chewing on her already diminished fingernails and chatting to her best friend Emma, when a new teacher walks in. A young girl, who just finished her teaching degree, asks them to sit around her on the floor and starts telling them a story about an ancient place a long time ago, when Pharaohs ruled the lands and slavery was common-place. She creates images in the minds of these children, who listen spell-bound, transported out of the classroom and into another world. Maria is now soaking up every word, filing it into memory – and loving her new favorite subject: history.