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How Stories Enhance Learning

Hello, I’m Tony Briggs. I’m an actor, writer, producer, director, and storyteller. I’m here to tell you about an educational website for young readers called Story Box Library. It’s been created for children to view all sorts of stories by Australian and New Zealand authors and illustrators read aloud by engaging storytellers. You might be familiar with some of the storytellers. - [Osher Günsberg] Good day, I’m Osher Günsberg. - [Tony] And you’ll hear from new voices, as well. - [Enya Lucas] Grandma’s scratched and scuffed shoes, her tired, but tough shoes. - Storytellers range from actors, comedians, musicians, sports people, politicians, media personalities, authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents, and kids too. (Noni chuckles) - Hi, I’m Noni Hazlehurst.
Hello, my name’s Steve Backshall. - My name is Trevor Jamieson. - My name is Dolly Diamond. - I’m Lisa McCune. - My name’s Tim [Rogers]. Want to come read a book with me? - [Danny Katz] It starts like this. - [Jay Laga’aia] Today I will be reading for you… - [Jacek Koman] “Baz and Benz”. - [Richard Green] “Clever Crow”. - [Gabrielle Wang] “Tilly”. - [Shane Jacobsen] “One Minute’s Silence”. - [Emma Watkins] “Chicken Divas”. - [Lucinda Gifford] Written and illustrated by me. - [Maxine Beneba Clarke] Written and illustrated by me. - [Ursula Dubosarsky] And written by me. - [Ronak Taher] Illustrated by me. - [Elise Hurst] Written and illustrated by Elise Hurst. - [Aaron Blabey] I hope you enjoy it.
[Wayne Hope] It is marvellous. - [Tony Wilson] Free pants for all! Free pants for all! - [Osher Günsberg] I’m out of here. - [Tony] Locations are selected to suit the story themes or the storyteller themselves. Storytellers might read at a fire station, football or soccer stadium, a farm, an aquarium, on stage at the theatre, the museum, an observatory, or parliament house. If a location compliments the book or storyteller, Story Box Library will travel there. That is, of course, unless the book you’re reading is sitting in the Great Victorian Desert of Western Australia, like this one, “Hello, Hello”, which is written and illustrated by 12 Indigenous students. So the Story Box Library team will get a little bit creative instead.
Children love having stories read to them and research shows that reading aloud to children by diverse and engaging storytellers improves language and literacy skills, especially in the early years of a child’s development. Story Box Library is a creative, educational, and safe online platform which connects children with literature through the complimentary medium of video, which offers additional support for our next generation of storytellers. As well as stories, there are short films about authors and illustrators and inspiring time-saving, curriculum-based activities that relate to story themes. (upbeat music) Story Box Library offers subscriptions for schools, early learning centres, families, professionals, and public libraries. Its aim is to ensure every family has free access to their stories via their local public library or school.
Story Box Library celebrates a range of voices, ideas, and communities by connecting the world of stories through storytelling. It offers them a mirror for young people to identify by seeing people who look like themselves who have faced challenges, overcome obstacles, and characters who can make a difference. I was delighted to be asked to become a storyteller for Story Box Library because I think it’s important to be part of something that excites the next generation about reading and storytelling. (upbeat music)

Start by exploring the reasons for incorporating storytelling into your everyday teaching practices.

Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful cultural traditions of our species, providing immeasurable cultural, social, and spiritual value. Stories also have tremendous educational benefits, as they can be used to help learners:

  1. Introduce and contextualise concepts;
  2. Connect with important messages through emotion;
  3. Understand and remember new information;
  4. See the world from different perspectives and build empathy;
  5. Feel motivated to take action or work towards a particular goal; and
  6. Shape their values and identities.

(Malamed, n.d.)

This means that stories can be used as a teaching aid in any subject — even mathematics!

Join the Discussion:

Could you identify any themes in the given video? Which types of lessons could students learn from this story? Leave your ideas in the Comments section below, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
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