How to Use Storytelling in the Classroom

A few months ago I didn’t know that storytelling competitions were a thing. Then I heard Matthew Dicks on a podcast and he shared what makes for good storytelling. I thought it was interesting but it wasn’t until he told a short 5-minute story that I was convinced of his mastery of the craft and I wanted to learn more.

I found out Matthew Dicks was not only a champion storyteller but also a classroom teacher and that he had a podcast with his wife Elysha where they listened to stories told from the stage and critiqued them; sharing what made them such powerful stories and what they could have done to improve the story.

I initially was drawn to the storytelling podcast because I thought I could get tips on how to tell better stories in social contexts but I walked away wondering how I could implement this into my classroom.

In today’s episode, Matthew and I explore the following:

⚫what are a couple things you can do to make your storytelling better than 90% of the stories most people tell

what storytelling looks like in Matthew’s 5th grade classroom (both when he’s telling stories and when he has his students telling stories)

⚫we listen to a novice storyteller (myself) tell a story to my class of a time I felt I really had no idea what I was doing but I didn’t want anyone to know and I get Matthew’s feedback on it.

⚫we listen to experienced storyteller / teacher Jennifer Bonaldo tell a story to a group of freshmen of a time she tried a little too hard to be with the ‘in-crowd’ and get Matthew’s feedback.

⚫Matthew provides resources and insights for teachers wanting to implement more storytelling in their classrooms.

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