Engaging Students Through Storytelling: Effective Teaching Techniques


One of the most common issues that teachers face in the classroom is disengaged learners. The boring classroom where everyone is working towards chasing marks and teachers decide on what to learn with no voice and choice for students is a hard-hitting reality. It is proven beyond doubt that storytelling is one of the most important tools for effective communication and may address the issues of disengaged learners. This article delves into the importance of storytelling and how it can be incorporated into the classroom.

We as human beings have been a storyteller since time immemorial. Stories are used for passing on wisdom and also for unleashing imagination. We have grown up listening to stories by our grandparents thus developing a perspective on values, ethics, and lifestyle during that era. Ethical and cultural values are passed from generation to generation through storytelling. National Curriculum Framework for school education strongly recommends using storytelling as a pedagogical tool.

This is the reason, training for teachers workshops organized by Aditya Birla Education Academy focus on the skill development of teachers so that they can implement them as and when they require.

Stories could be narrated in a classroom with the following objectives

  • Catch the attention of disengaged learners
  • Real-life stories for motivation and inspiration
  • Sharing messages of social values and issues
  • Introduction of a topic
  • Creating excitement and fun in the classroom

Listening to stories when narrated with appropriate emotions, gestures, and expressions can be transformational and eventually become an experience in itself.

There are many advantages of listening to stories, the most important ones being

  • Developing a Perspective on Social Relationships
  • Bringing clarity on values and ethics
  • Understanding and experiencing emotions

  • Honing life skills like Communication, critical and creative thinking
  • Building Problem-Solving abilities
  • Enhancing concentration and focus

Some of the strategies teachers can use in the classroom to make storytelling an absolute joy for everyone are

  • Allow kids to listen to the same story multiple times as through these reiterations, kids engage effectively with the character, events, and ideas of the story leading to enhanced imagination and perspective. This practice also reinforces vocabulary.
  • Always narrate with voice modulation and expressions to catch attention of learners.
  • A story can be narrated using a book even if kids can not read as experiencing the book by touching, turning pages, looking at pictures finger reading develops a love for books thereby creating voracious readers and lifelong learners.
  • Puppets both in-house-made and ready-made attract learners towards story reading. All kinds of puppets like Stick puppets, glove puppets, finger puppets, box puppets, paper bag puppets, and socks puppets are useful in enhancing kid’s imagination and visualization. In fact, kids can also be encouraged to support teachers in creating puppets.
  • Large-sized Flash cards are again an effective tool for storytelling. Flash cards can be used by students to create a sequence of the story by placing these cards in order. The students can be involved in decorating these flashcards thereby integrating visual art.

In addition to listening to stories, kids should be encouraged to even tell stories. The kids should be given the choice to narrate the same story that they have heard or a different story. Kids should be encouraged to create their own stories and narrate those too.

It is a well-established fact that storytelling is an effective pedagogical tool as well communication tool finding its place in classrooms and boardrooms. As teachers, we must incorporate storytelling in the classrooms and always give story writing and narration skills to our learners to be practiced throughout their life and thus become effective communicators.

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Mukta Sharma

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