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Science Through Stories (Report Version)

Science Through Stories (Report Version)



This slideshow explores the solution of engaging emotional intelligence through story sharing in order to address two of the mutual challenges of both educators and librarians – educational ...

This slideshow explores the solution of engaging emotional intelligence through story sharing in order to address two of the mutual challenges of both educators and librarians – educational motivation and information assimilation. It was presented at the OCTELA (www.octela.org) spring conference on March 27, 2010.



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  • Good Morning! My name is Hayley McEwing. I am a children’s librarian with the PLYMC. I am pleased to be here today to explore two of the mutual challenges of both educators and librarians – The first challenge is, how do we motivate others to learn? The second challenge is for ourselves as well as the individuals we serve, and that is how can we all better understand the information we come in contact with? While there are numerous possible solutions being acknowledged in the 21 st Century and here at this conference, the following presentation focuses on the solution of story sharing. Demonstrations at the end will share stories embedded in science concepts.
  • First, let’s define stories. According to Mallan in Crash Course in Storytelling, stories have an emotional component to them that is lacking in a pure “just the facts” presentation of information that we see in scientific reports. It is interesting to note how children’s books, particularly picturebooks, blur the line between pure fiction stories and pure nonfiction texts. The books on display are examples of this phenomenon. Some incorporate the facts on each double page spread while some share the facts at the end of the story. Examples (not in my picturebook correlations): Aliki. My Visit to the Zoo. Barner, Bob. Dem Bones Sayre, April Pulley. Trout, Trout, Trout! (A Fish Chant) Schaefer, Lola. M. An Island Grows. Schlein, Miriam. Hello, Hello! Swinburne, Stephen R. Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems.
  • We have an idea of what stories are … Why share them? There are 3 reasons we’ll cover today. The first reason to share stories is to engage emotional intelligence. Here are a couple of resources that get into the research and importance of emotional intelligence. Here are two other resources that share practical ways to incorporate storytelling into school curriculum.
  • Let’s look into the idea of emotion and emotional intelligence a bit further. According to Daniel Goleman in Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence “emotions are part of rationality not opposed to it.” Therefore, our feelings can help us find the meaning in data. It is interesting to note that Goleman sees engaging emotional intelligence as a key to the creation of superior leaders. As educators and librarians, we too desire to foster leaders. Why not through emotional intelligence?
  • Emotional intelligence can be broken down into two main learning components: intrapersonal and interpersonal learning. Intrapersonal or Individual Investigation (what Goleman calls “Personal Competence” 39) is How you see yourself and how others see you – This includes the Real and Ideal self (Goleman 134). Identity (who I am) and Value Systems (what I believe) are real investigations that occur internally. Stories are the perfect segue into this mode of learning because we can compare ourselves and our experiences to a character and his/her experiences. Imagination and self expression are the ideal aspects of individual investigation. When we listen to or read stories, we exercise our internal visualization skills which transfers to goal setting and can lead to change in our previous identity, beliefs, and behavior. Because emotional intelligence includes self-expression, I encourage you to take the story sharing skills we will learn today and teach them to the individuals you work with.
  • The second main learning component of emotional intelligence is interpersonal learning or as Goleman calls it “Social Competence” (39). As Carol Birch suggests in The Whole Story Handbook , shared stories create and enhance community bonds because shared stories become shared reference points. In other words, stories help us find commonalities both in our past and in our present. Common past stories include events, traditions, and everyday experiences. For example, through the natural story sharing that occurs in conversation, we might discover we both own pets that were once strays. We’ll share when and where we found the animal and how we rescued it. This is a common past story. Common present stories occur when individuals come together as an audience to watch a performance or discuss a book. The idea behind the One Book – One Community campaign is to create a common present story in order to build community.
  • Not only do stories naturally engage both learning components of our emotional intelligence, using stories to orient our feelings and attitudes around a subject helps us remember and understand that subject. Stories put information into a meaningful context.
  • The third reason to share stories with the individuals we work with is because it stimulates all kinds of learners and all kinds of learning. We’ve already detailed the intrapersonal and interpersonal learning that occurs with story sharing. Verbal-linguistic learners are stimulated by the language when they hear, read, write, and tell their own stories. Musical learners become especially involved in stories that incorporate the technique of music, but they can also appreciate the various aspects of sound (which we’ll detail later). There are also specific kinds of stories that attract the logical-mathematical learners. Some examples we will detail later include cut and tell, folding, and tangram stories, and there are also riddle stories like those in Shannon’s Stories to Solve . Or stories that involve magic tricks. Visual learners are stimulated by a story sharer’s gestures and facial expressions as well as props. Kinesthetic learners are involved in audience participation pieces, movement stories, and of course, the performance of their own stories.
  • We’ve defined stories and talked about why sharing them is important to learning. Now we need to cover how to share stories. There are two basic means of story sharing: Storytelling and Story Reading. In pure story reading, there is the reader, book, and audience. The story is limited by the book’s text and sharing is strongest with fewer listeners. In pure story telling, there is just the teller and the audience. The story can be improvised and presented in innumerable ways and therefore, can reach a larger audience.
  • What I am referring to as story sharing is a mix between storytelling and story reading. In story sharing, there are elements of oral telling and large audience engagement, but there is also a place to use objects such as props or images.
  • Now let’s look at the kinds of stories that are good for story sharing. In the interest of time, I’ll go into detail about forms that may be less familiar. Cut and Tell / Folding Stories – Your object is some kind of paper (e.g. construction paper, newspaper, napkin) or cloth (e.g. handkerchief, towels) and by cutting or folding you bring an object or several objects from the story to life Kallevig, Christine Petrell. Folding Stories: Storytelling and Origami Together As One.   Draw and Tell / Chalk Talk / Sand Stories – Basically, any kind of drawing (marker/drawing pad or chalk/sidewalk) that occurs in real time, during the presentation, and is accompanied by a story falls under this draw and tell category. Castillo, Joe: http://www.sandstory.com/ Poetry – As language arts specialists, many of you are already using this form to transfer information, but just a reminder … poetry is the perfect kind of story to incorporate movement. Bauer, Caroline Feller. New Handbook for Storytellers: With Stories, Poems, Magic, and More. Don’t underestimate the power of personal stories to motivate and engage audiences in certain subjects. Personal Stories – These stories are based on a past or present events in your everyday life Use Davis, Donald. Telling Your Own Stories: For Family and Classroom Storytelling, Public Speaking, and Personal Journaling. To uncover stories and share them in all aspects of your life.   For String Stories think of Cat’s Cradle - the storyteller manipulates a piece of string in order to represent objects and actions within the story De Las Casas, Dianne. Handmade Tales: Stories to Make and Take. Pellowski, Anne. The Story Vine: A Source Book of Unusual and Easy-to-Tell Stories from Around the World.   In Tangram Stories – the teller assembles and disassembles pre-cut shapes to form objects mentioned in the story De las Casas, Dianne . Tangram Tales: Story Theater Using the Ancient Chinese Puzzle. Marsh, Valerie. Story Puzzles: Tales in the Tangram Tradition.    
  • Above all, pick a story you like! Going back to that idea of emotional intelligence … If you like the story, you’re more likely to be able to learn and remember it. As you find stories you like, keep them in a special place so you always have a story to learn.
  • So now we’ve found a kind of story we feel emotional connected to, we need to think about how we will present it. Audience Participation is the most common technique to infuse into a story. It is any method used to engage an audience – do actions, say repeating phrases, add to or guess part of the story   Digital – using any form of technology (computer, camera, interactive white board etc.) to help relay a story Bloom’s Taxonomy incorporating technology: http://www.techlearning.com/article/8670 Ohler, Jason. Digital Storytelling in the Classroom. Ohler, Jason: http://www.jasonohler.com/storytelling/index.cfm Promethean Plant: The World’s Largest Interactive White Board Community: http://www.prometheanplanet.com/   Magnet or Felt “Story Board” - using attachable pictures and a story board KizClub: http://kizclub.com/  “Stories and Props”   Movement - sometimes an entire story can be based on audience movement Dow, Connie Bergstein. Dance, Turn, Hop, Learn! Enriching Movement Activities for Preschoolers. Landalf, Helen and Pamela Gerke. Movement Stories for Young Children Ages 3-6.   Music – a refrain can be sung throughout the story, instrumental background music can be used to set a mood, or instruments can be used for sound effects or refrains Painter, William M. Storytelling with Music, Puppets, and Arts for Libraries and Classrooms. Puppets / Props – use puppets or stuffed animals (or other objects) to introduce, narrate, or animate a story or interact with the audience Frey, Yvonne Amar. One-Person Puppetry Streamlined and Simplified: With 38 Folktale Scripts.   Tandem Telling / Readers Theatre – tandem stories are for two people/voices while readers theatre can involve more people Fleischman, Paul. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. Hoberman, Mary Ann. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series.  
  • Earlier we compared storytelling and story reading. As we learn how to hone our story sharing skills, lets examine the tradition of pure, oral storytelling in more detail.
  • Here are the five languages of oral storytelling as outlined by Davis, Donald. Telling Your Own Stories: For Family and Classroom Storytelling, Public Speaking, and Personal Journaling. I’ve further described them with support from: Birch, Carol L. The Whole Story Handbook. Sawyer, Ruth. The Way of the Storyteller. MacDonald, Margaret Read. The Storyteller’s Start-Up Book: Finding, Learning, Performing, and Using Folktales Including Twelve Tellable Tales. Gesture = includes facial expressions and controlling physical space Sound = By experimenting with _____ we create music with words that gives the words and overall story more meaning and life. Attitude = begins with your comfort level with the story which is, of course, effected by practice and choosing a story you’re emotional attached to. Then you can begin to let the overall feeling behind the story come through and create different attitudes for different characters. Feedback = is awareness of your audience. We involve our emotional intelligence to improvise because all audiences are different: “Storytelling is an audience-shaped art form.” Words = purposefully choose and memorize the words that are key to the story. For example, choose strong beginning and ending sentences.
  • Not only does story sharing engage all kinds of learners through the multiple intelligences, one can also learn a story through one’s specific learning style. Haven, Kendall and MaryGay Ducey. Crash Course in Storytelling. MacDonald, Margaret Read. The Storyteller’s Start-Up Book: Finding, Learning, Performing, and Using Folktales Including Twelve Tellable Tales. Sheppard, Tim. Compiled “Tips for Learning Stories.” http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/articles/learning.html (2009)
  • This resource is made for youth but is also useful to any beginning storyteller. Part Two helps one determine what kind of story learner one is and provides the appropriate story learning techniques.
  • Lastly, to make you feel more confident sharing stories, here are a few tips that will help you when make a performance mistake. They are taken from Haven, Kendall and MaryGay Ducey. Crash Course in Storytelling.
  • Before I share some stories that will involve an audience in science information, let’s briefly cover what science is in the early educational years – the basics that also carry into the years to come. Over all these components of science education, modern teaching resources stress everyday inquiry and (guided) self-exploration. Science related stories bring this subject into the everyday and provide opportunities for individuals to respond emotionally and get further involved in content. I have correlated picturebooks (cataloged “story”/fiction books) to the Science Early Learning – Primary Content Standards. This is available on my wiki: http://hayleymcewing.pbworks.com/ You will also find this PowerPoint and other bibliographies of pertinent resources on my professional wiki. I also want to bring your attention to the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education website: http://www.ilile.org/instructionalRes/schoolLibTools/index.html They have correlated books, mostly nonfiction, to the Ohio Department of Education’s standards for grades K-5.
  • Before I share a few stories that will engage an audience with science information, are there any questions?
  • Preschool Inquiry A: 1 2 A. Ask a testable question. • Ask questions about objects, organisms and events in their environment during shared stories, conversations and play (e.g., ask about how worms eat). (1) • Show interest in investigating unfamiliar objects, organisms and phenomena during shared stories, conversations and play (e.g., “Where does hail come from?”). (2)
  • Preschool Life A:2 A. Discover that there are living things, non-living things and pretend things, and describe the basic needs of living things (organisms). • Begin to differentiate between real and pretend through stories, illustrations, play and other media (e.g., talking flowers or animals). (2)
  • Here is an example of story sharing. < story > When Chameleon, Chameleon by Bishop is paired with A Color of His Own by Lionni, we address the preschool, life sciences standard, benchmark A, indicator 2 which is A. Discover that there are living things, non-living things and pretend things, and describe the basic needs of living things (organisms). • Begin to differentiate between real and pretend through stories, illustrations, play and other media (e.g., talking flowers or animals). (2) We investigate when and how chameleons change colors.

Science Through Stories (Report Version) Science Through Stories (Report Version) Presentation Transcript