When to Use Stories
Storytelling is just one tool in the instructional toolbox that can be a part of a larger sequence of instruction that uses varied approaches within the sequence. They should not be used as the only method of instruction but part of a larger ecology in the learning trajectory. Storytelling can provide variety in the learning experience and enhance the “chalk and talk” approach. They can be used in the very beginning of the sequence as a way to gain the attention of the learner. They can be used in the middle of the sequence when introducing a complex concept. They can be used at the end of a sequence as a way to summarize information.
It is recommended that you perform some analysis before you decide which aspect of your instruction to make into a story. If you notice in your classroom as you deliver your instruction that students start to look at you with glassy, tired eyes or students are browsing the Internet, you might want to consider changing this part of your sequence to a different method such as storytelling. If you notice that there are certain concepts that students routinely score incorrectly on your quizzes or exams, consider addressing these misconceptions with a different method such as storytelling.