How to use the power of the story
Storytellers deliver their art with the same precision as a singer who masterfully delivers a spellbinding song.
We’ve all heard a song that lofted past our reasoning and seeped deep into our soul. You don’t just hear it, you feel it. Musicians practice note quality, pitch, inflections, dynamics, nuances, and phrasing in hopes that their music will bypass the listener’s ears and move them. When this is done well, the result is often an emotional experience, even moving us to tears.
The same holds true of a master storyteller. Anyone can repeat a story, but only the accomplished can captivate an entire audience and lead them through an imagination theater of one’s own mind.
The power of a story is so strong that we learn from them as if we have experienced them ourselves. Master teachers have long used the power of a story to illustrate their point and bring their lessons to life. Long after we've forgotten the lecture we still recall the stories they told. Firemen also use the power of stories. When they debrief after a call, each man shares his experience with his team, the entire team then stores each man's stories in the schema files of their brain as if he lived them and can pull from the vicarious lessons learned when facing a similar situation.
Children are the same way. They do not have to live through a situation to learn from it. They can learn through the stories they hear but the real power comes when they are interjected into the story as an active participant in it's hearing and retelling.
Championeers! utilizes this tool to its fullest first by building the entire system around a story that's been carefully crafted to promote neural pathway development between the IQ and EQ. Each week we leave children on a cliff-hanger so they have to search their own experience to try to solve the problem, then we carefully provide possible solutions to consider... each with it's own set of consequences, of course, to help children develop cause and effect reasoning skills.
You can become a master storyteller through the following tips.
#1 - Stories start long before you say your first word.
Set the stage for your students by creating an atmosphere of expectation. From the moment the story begins, you have the ability to transport your students into a world of creativity where they enter the stage of their imagination. You can do this my wearing a hat, or holding a prop, even playing themed music as an intro. Make it fun, and you'll have your students on the edge of their seats.
#2 - It's not just the story you are telling, it's the Adventure you are relaying.
No monotone readers here. Use your voice. Who cares if you are horrible at English accents. Your students won't know the difference but they will respond. Change your volume levels. Make eye contact. Use pacing and inflection. Weave the objects in your room into your story. Draw your students in with enthusiasm, energy, and engagement. Tell it in a way they can feel it.
#3 - It's not just what you say, but how you say it.
If you are boring and half-committed, your students will be twice as bored and apathetic. If you are totally into it, they can’t help but follow your lead. Modeling is in their nature.
Approach Championeers! Adventures like a mini-camp, and think of yourself as a camp counselor that’s always one step ahead of your students. You are the master storyteller incorporating each aspect of class into an overall narrative that funnels your student's energy into the pages of your script. That makes you the ring leader, (never forget whose in charge) and your students will hang on your words like the Pied Piper because you've captivated their imaginations.
Together, we can do this,
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