Teaching Storytelling

The Role of Surprises in Teaching Storytelling

The Role of Surprises in Teaching Storytelling

The skills of storytelling—much like the skills of walking—involve many unaware adaptations that we have learned only after years of speaking to people. We imagine. We use our unconscious abilities to communicate what we imagine—using complex oral language skills such as delicately shading our tone, posture, facial expression and more, to convey nuances of attitude and meaning. 

With so many of the skills of storytelling based on intricate, unconscious learning, explanations of the skills are usually not useful until you’ve already developed them! 

So there’s no obvious way to get students to experience success simply by giving instructions. What activities, then, do we set up? What behaviors do we encourage?

The Role of Surprise…

“Beginning, Middle, End.” Huh?

“Beginning, Middle, End.” Huh?

Many of us take for granted the idea of “Beginning,” “Middle” and “End” with regard to story structure. But what do those words actually mean? Is there a more helpful way to look at plot? How does all this relate to eating a sandwich?

Can Storytelling Help Your Mindset?

Can Storytelling Help Your Mindset?

Carol Dweck discovered children who loved to fail - because, in their mindset, failure was a chance to get smarter. But our society seems to favor the fixed mindset, in which your smartness is innate and unchanging. Why is that? What role does it play, to keep people imprisoned in a fixed mindset? Is there something storytelling can do, to help others experience the exciting potential of a "growth mindset"?