السلام وعليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
انني في اشد الحاجة للاطلاع على هذه الدراسات ولكن للأسف لم استطع التحميل بسبب هذه الرسالة
عذرا. ميزة البريد الإلكتروني متوقفة حاليا.فأرجو توضيح ذلك وان كانت هناك طريقة اخرى للتحميل دلوني عليها ولكم مني جزيل الشكر
A Position Statement from the Committee on Storytelling in 1992. Once upon a time, oral storytelling ruled. It was the medium through which people learned their history, settled their arguments, and came to make sense of the phenomena of their world. Then along came the written word with its mysterious symbols. For a while, only the rich and privileged had access to its wonders. But in time, books, signs, pamphlets, memos, cereal boxes, constitutions—countless kinds of writing appeared everywhere people turned. The ability to read and write now ruled many lands. Oral storytelling, like the simpleminded youngest brother in the olden tales, was foolishly cast aside. Oh, in casual ways people continued to tell each other stories at bedtime, across dinner tables, and around campfires, but the respect for storytelling as a tool of learning was almost forgotten. Luckily, a few wise librarians, camp counselors, folklorists, and traditional tellers from cultures which still highly valued the oral tale kept storytelling alive. Schoolchildren at the feet of a storyteller sat mesmerized and remembered the stories till the teller came again. Teachers discovered that children could easily recall whatever historical or scientific facts they learned through story. Children realized they made pictures in their minds as they heard stories told, and they kept making pictures even as they read silently to themselves. Just hearing stories made children want to tell and write their own tales. Parents who wanted their children to have a sense of history found eager ears for the kind of story that begins, “When I was little ….” Stories, told simply from mouth to ear, once again traveled the land. What Is Storytelling? Storytelling is relating a tale to one or more listeners through voice and gesture. It is not the same as reading a story aloud or reciting a piece from memory or acting out a drama—though it shares common characteristics with these arts. The storyteller looks into the eyes of the audience and together they compose the tale. The storyteller begins to see and re-create, through voice and gesture, a series of mental images; the audience, from the first moment of listening, squints, stares, smiles, leans forward or falls asleep, letting the teller know whether to slow down, speed up, elaborate, or just finish. Each listener, as well as each teller, actually composes a unique set of story images derived from meanings associated with words, gestures, and sounds. The experience can be profound, exercising the thinking and touching the emotions of both teller and listener. Why Include Storytelling in School? Everyone who can speak can tell stories. We tell them informally as we relate the mishaps and wonders of our day-to-day lives. We gesture, exaggerate our voices, pause for effect. Listeners lean in and compose the scene of our tale in their minds. Often they are likely to be reminded of a similar tale from their own lives. These naturally learned oral skills can be used and built on in our classrooms in many ways. Students who search their memories for details about an event as they are telling it orally will later find those details easier to capture in writing. Writing theorists value the rehearsal, or prewriting, stage of composing. Sitting in a circle and swapping personal or fictional tales is one of the best ways to help writers rehearse. Listeners encounter both familiar and new language patterns through story. They learn new words or new contexts for already familiar words. Those who regularly hear stories, subconsciously acquire familiarity with narrative patterns and begin to predict upcoming events. Both beginning and experienced readers call on their understanding of patterns as they tackle unfamiliar texts. Then they re-create those patterns in both oral and written compositions. Learners who regularly tell stories become aware of how an audience affects a telling, and they carry that awareness into their writing. Both tellers and listeners find a reflection of themselves in stories. Through the language of symbol, children and adults can act out through a story the fears and understandings not so easily expressed in everyday talk. Story characters represent the best and worst in humans. By exploring story territory orally, we explore ourselves—whether it be through ancient myths and folktales, literary short stories, modern picture books, or poems. Teachers who value a personal understanding of their students can learn much by noting what story a child chooses to tell and how that story is uniquely composed in the telling. Through this same process, teachers can learn a great deal about themselves. Story is the best vehicle for passing on factual information. Historical figures and events linger in children’s minds when communicated by way of a narrative. The ways of other cultures, both ancient and living, acquire honor in story. The facts about how plants and animals develop, how numbers work, or how government policy influences history—any topic, for that matter—can be incorporated into story form and made more memorable if the listener takes the story to heart. Children at any level of schooling who do not feel as competent as their peers in reading or writing are often masterful at storytelling. The comfort zone of the oral tale can be the path by which they reach the written one. Tellers who become very familiar with even one tale by retelling it often, learn that literature carries new meaning with each new encounter. Students working in pairs or in small storytelling groups learn to negotiate the meaning of a tale. How Do You Include Storytelling in School? Teachers who tell personal stories about their past or present lives model for students the way to recall sensory detail. Listeners can relate the most vivid images from the stories they have heard or tell back a memory the story evokes in them. They can be instructed to observe the natural storytelling taking place around them each day, noting how people use gesture and facial expression, body language, and variety in tone of voice to get the story across. Stories can also be rehearsed. Again, the teacher’s modeling of a prepared telling can introduce students to the techniques of eye contact, dramatic placement of a character within a scene, use of character voices, and more. If students spend time rehearsing a story, they become comfortable using a variety of techniques. However, it is important to remember that storytelling is communication, from the teller to the audience, not just acting or performing. Storytellers can draft a story the same way writers draft. Audiotape or videotape recordings can offer the storyteller a chance to be reflective about the process of telling. Listeners can give feedback about where the telling engaged them most. Learning logs kept throughout a storytelling unit allow both teacher and students to write about the thinking that goes into choosing a story, mapping its scenes, coming to know its characters, deciding on detail to include or exclude. Like writers, student storytellers learn from models. Teachers who tell personal stories or go through the process of learning to tell folk or literary tales make the most credible models. Visiting storytellers or professional tellers on audiotapes or videotapes offer students a variety of styles. Often a community historian or folklorist has a repertoire of local tales. Older students both learn and teach when they take their tales to younger audiences or community agencies. Once you get storytelling going, there is no telling where it will take you. Oral storytelling is regaining its position of respect in communities where hundreds of people of every age gather together for festivals in celebration of its power. Schools and preservice college courses are gradually giving it curriculum space as well. It is unsurpassed as a tool for learning about ourselves, about the ever-increasing information available to us, and about the thoughts and feelings of others. The simpleminded youngest brother in olden tales, while disregarded for a while, won the treasure in the end every time. The NCTE Committee on Storytelling invites you to reach for a treasure—the riches of storytelling. This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE. From the National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 800-369-6283 (Toll Free). Full text at http://www.ncte.org/positions/story.html.
Sequenced Lesson Overviews for Teaching Storytelling Techniques
These mini-lessons were taught in conjunction with the classroom teacher and integrated into a unit on folk and fairy tales. Students came to the library for mini-lessons and practice. The lessons are listed for you in order to provide an idea of the sequence of skills. You will want adjust the lessons to meet the needs of your students and the unit objectives.
Information Literacy Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Skills: public speaking, voice projection, eye contact, use of gestures, phrasing, sequencing, retell, self-evaluation
Mini-lesson #1--Unit Introduction
Share a brief history of storytelling.
Provide adequate time for students to choose a story and read it several times.
Mini-lesson #2: Learn the Beginning and Ending
Explain that a storyteller does not memorize every word. Refer to different versions of a folk tale and remind students that each storyteller makes the story his own by adding or changing little details. The storyteller shouldn’t use the exact words from the written page. Telling a story with little variations creates a unique version—a goal for any artist. That said, it does help to memorize the first and last sentence so the teller knows how to start and stop.
Using their chosen story, students write the beginning and ending sentence in a storyboard or story map. Using these as notes, students practice with a partner saying both sentences aloud.
Mini-lesson #3: Sequence the Story using a storyboard or story map
Students sequence the rest of the story. Upon completion, divide the class into pairs and with their notes retell their stories.
Each day divide students into pairs and provide ten minutes for each student to retell her story. With each retelling encourage students to rely less on their notes.
Mini-lesson #4: Develop Character Voice
To make the story interesting, encourage students to use a different sounding voice for the main character. (One voice variation is usually enough for beginners.)
Try the Voice Game:
Brainstorm a list of different ways to change a character voice. (i.e.- loud, low, whines, slow, lisp, teenager, granny, Southern dialect)
Sit the class in a large circle. Choose a phrase for the class to repeat in different voices.
Go around the circle, letting students repeat the phrase using different voices, remembering that the words need to be enunciated so they are understandable
When finished, ask the class to consider the voices they heard and choose one for a character in their story. Think of a sentence or two that the character might say in the story and practice saying it to a partner. Ask several students to model their sentences before everyone practices their retelling.
Mini-lesson #5: Create a Repetitive Phrase
Discuss how to find or develop a repetitive phrase. Students then choose and write the repetitive phrase they plan to use in their notes, and practice saying the phrase with a partner
Locate at least three places in the story for its use and make notations in storyboard/map.
Provide time for multiple practices.
Mini-lesson #6: Practice Pacing, Pausing, Phrasing (may need to extend days depending on group)
Demonstrate the telling of an exciting part of a story using a monotone voice and at a slow pace. Ask students to identify what made the story seem boring. Tell the same part again, except vary the pace (slow down to build anticipation, speed up to build excitement)
Demonstrate a part of your story that requires a pause just before the repetitive phrase to invite audience participation. Tell a very exciting part of your story using a short pause to develop tension. Discuss techniques and what they add to a story.
Demonstrate phrasing first by showing the wrong way (once…upon…a…time there…lived…a sweet…princess) and again fluently. Ask students to explain the differences.
Provide practice time after teaching each of the above techniques so that students can apply the skill to their story.
Mini-lesson #7: Develop Stage Presence
• Tell parts of a story, modeling both good and bad use of gestures. (Nervous fidgeting detracts from storytelling as well as any public speaking--and most of the time the speaker is unaware of the body movements.)
Develop students’ stage presence by:
Practicing the way they wish to perform (sitting or standing or both)
Choreographing hand gestures to go with the repetitive phrase.
Keeping the gestures/movements simple
Mini-lesson #8: Practice Makes Perfect
Model good and bad examples of voice projection and eye contact.
Videotape practices if possible. Students view and self-evaluate themselves, using a rubric.
Provide several more days for practice in the classroom and at home.
"Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me the truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." - Indian Proverb Once upon a time, long ago and far away (or perhaps not so long ago), teachers did not use fancy PowerPoint presentations, overhead projectors, or even chalkboards. They simply shared their knowledge through stories. Think back over your years of sitting in classrooms. What are the moments that you most remember? For me, one of those moments was my professor in introduction to psychology spinning the tale of Rosenhan's pseudopatients, perfectly sane individuals who checked into a mental institution and proceeded to act in normal ways. It seemed like an amazing adventure - what was going to happen to these people in the mental hospital? The class was hanging on his every word.
The odds are that your memorable moments, too, have to do with stories - not theories or definitions or dates, but an unfolding narrative, complete with suspense, drama, or humour, or perhaps a personal anecdote shared by a favourite teacher. Of course, a classroom narrative may be linked to a major discovery, study, or figure in psychology, but it is not always the importance of the discovery alone that allows it to stay fresh over the years. Rather, the means of presenting the information can make it exciting and unforgettable. The power of stories has been recognized for centuries, and even today, in Hollywood and beyond, storytelling is a multi-million dollar business. Stories are a natural mode of thinking; before our formal education begins, we are already learning from Aesop's fables, fairy tales, or family history. Indeed, some researchers have even claimed that all knowledge comes in the form of stories (Schank & Abelson, 1995)! Although this strong claim has been questioned, it is generally agreed that stories are a powerful structure for organizing and transmitting information, and for creating meaning in our lives and environments. NATURE OF STORIES What is a story? In essence, a narrative account requires a story that raises unanswered questions or unresolved conflicts; characters may encounter and then resolve a crisis or crises. A story line, with a beginning, middle and end, is identifiable. In Bruner's (1986) words, "[Narrative] deals in human or human-like intention and action and the vicissitudes and consequences that mark their course. It strives to put its timeless miracles into the particulars of experience and to locate the experience in time and place." Stories can bring abstract principles to life by giving them concrete form. We cannot always give students direct experience with psychological concepts, but stories might come close. A story tends to have more depth than a simple example. A story tells about some event - some particular individuals, and something that happens to them. Stories engage our thinking, our emotions, and can even lead to the creation of mental imagery (Green & Brock, 2000). Individuals listening to stories react to them almost automatically, participating, in a sense, in the action of the narrative (e.g., Polichak & Gerrig, 2002). Bringing all of these systems to bear on the material in your course helps student learning. Students are awake, following along, wanting to find out what happens next and how the story ends. Bruner (1986) has contrasted the paradigmatic (logical, scientific) and narrative modes of thinking, but these modes need not be mutually exclusive in the classroom.
PURPOSE OF STORIES Stories can serve multiple functions in the classroom, including sparking student interest, aiding the flow of lectures, making material memorable, overcoming student resistance or anxiety, and building rapport between the instructor and the students, or among students themselves. Stories Create Interest As an instructor, you can capitalize on the inherent narrative structure of research as the quest for knowledge. Science is the process of solving mysteries; in fact, writers of journal articles are often advised to make their findings into "a good story." Psychologists often start out by confronting an intriguing problem. For example, why are bicycle riders faster when they are racing against another person than going around t he track by themselves? Researchers also encounter and overcome various obstacles in their quest to understand a phenomenon. For example, when researchers tried to replicate social facilitation effects, sometimes the presence of others improved performance, and other times it harmed performance. Why would that be? Take advantage of the suspense that this chain of events can create. Telling the story of how researchers became interested in a particular issue, without immediately providing the resolution. Characters are an important element of any tale, and indeed, stories can also make material concrete and memorable by putting a human (or animal) face on theories and issues. Students may remember the peril of H. M., the patient who could not form new memories, long after they have forgotten other details of brain anatomy or memory research. They may have a vivid mental image of Harry Harlow's orphaned monkeys interacting with cloth or wire "mothers." If they remember the concrete elements of the story, they may then be able to reconstruct the abstract lessons illustrated by the story. Furthermore, listeners may identify with the protagonists of your stories, and thus might be better able to relate course material to their own lives. Making the material personally relevant can lead to increased thinking about the material and a greater ability to apply the new knowledge.
Similarly, giving some background about the researchers who developed particular theories can help engage student interest by humanizing the research process, and may even provide role models for students who may be interested in pursing research themselves. (This approach can be used to excellent effect in history of psychology courses.) Stories can convey the passion, enthusiasm, and curiosity of the researchers. Sometimes psychological research can seem divorced from the real world, but in the process of developing his theories about compliance, Cialdini actually went through training programs to becomes a salesman of encyclopedias, dance lessons, and the like. He also went "on the inside" as a participant-observer to study advertising, public relations, and fundraising agencies to learn about their techniques. Students studying social influence love to hear about Cialdini immersing himself in the world of compliance professionals.
Stories Provide a Structure for Remembering Course Material Coherence is the hallmark of a good narrative. Remembering a list of isolated concepts and definitions is difficult, but recalling the flow of a research story may be easier for students. As mentioned above, stories may also help create vivid mental images, another cue for recall. Because stories provide natural connections between events and concepts, mentioning one part of the story may help evoke the other parts of the story, just as hearing one bar of a familiar tune may bring the entire song to mind.
Stories Are a Familiar and Accessible Form of Sharing Information Some students may be intimidated by abstract concepts, or may doubt their ability to master or understand the material. A story may provide a non-threatening way to ease students into learning. A narrative opening may seem simple and straightforward, allowing students to relax and grasp a concrete example before moving into more technical details of a theory or finding. Sometimes stories can even be about the learning process; tales of previous students who struggled but then succeeded might serve as inspiration for current students. (It probably goes without saying that telling stories that mock or disparage previous students may do more harm than good.) Telling a Story From Experience Can Create a More Personal Student-Teacher Connection This rapport can lead to a positive classroom climate. Perhaps you are a clinical psychologist who has seen a patient with a particularly compelling presentation of the disorder you're discussing in class. Or maybe you're a social psychologist who has had your own brush with bystander intervention and diffusion of responsibility. Sharing these experiences gives the class a new tone, and makes the subject come alive. As long as every class session isn't another chapter from your autobiography, students enjoy seeing a glimpse of the human side of their professors. As an added benefit, in discussion classes, providing this kind of opening may inspire reciprocity and help create an atmosphere where students are more willing to share their opinions and experiences.
FINDING AND SELECTING STORIES There are a wealth of sources for teachable stories - current events, history, television programs, classic literature or drama, and personal experience (your own and others). Some instructors find it useful to have a folder or notebook for teaching stories; make a habit of clipping relevant newspaper stories, or making notes about events that are perfect illustrations of some psychological concept that appears in your course. These don't have to be current events to capture student interest: A colleague uses a scene from the book Killer Angels (Shaara, 1974), about the Battle of Gettysburg, to demonstrate the power of perception over reality. In the book, the Confederate General Longstreet is portrayed as sitting calmly before the battle. A foreign journalist infers that he is composing himself, thinking of strategy and so forth. In reality, he is weeping, knowing his men will die because he asks them to, knowing what the day will bring. And remember, research results need to be true, but stories do not. Do not be afraid to use stories from fiction, especially well-known fiction. For instance, the children's story "The Emperor's New Clothes" demonstrates social influence principles; the interactions between Iago, Othello, and Desdemona in Shakespeare's play Othello provide a powerful illustration of the importance of perceptions over objective reality.
Textbooks may also be sources of stories; some books use stories to introduce or frame chapters, while others (such as Aronson's Social Animal) intersperse narratives throughout. Readers may want to consider books with "inside stories." Such stories have been collected by Brannigan and Merrens (1995) in their Research Adventures series
Other recommendations for sources of stories include:
A History of Geropsychology in Autobiography. (Birren & Schroots, (2000)
Case Studies in Abnormal Behavior (6th ed.) (Meyer, 2003)
Classic Studies in Psychology (Schwartz, 1986).
Disordered Personalities in Literature (Harwell, 1980)
Forty Studies that Changed Psychology: Explorations into the History of Psychological Research (4th Ed.) (Hock, 2002)
Pioneers of Psychology (3rd ed.) (Fancher, 1996)
Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology (Kimble, Wertheimer, & White, 1991)
The Story of Psychology (Hunt, 1993)
Think about common experiences that your students have likely had - stories about leaving home, dealing with roommates, handling relationships, and the like may be especially relevant to a college-age audience. The case study method, frequently used in business schools, is a popular means of introducing stories into the classroom. Cases typically set up a problem by giving background information about a situation (for example, the history of a company), and end with a current dilemma faced by an individual or organization. They are often designed to illustrate a particular point or demonstrate certain analytic procedures. Students are encouraged to generate possible solutions and consider the consequences of those solutions. This method encourages active learning, and in essence, puts students in the role of writing the ending to the story. A related method (which can be more or less narrative in form) is role-playing, where students actively create or take part in a mini-drama in the classroom. McKeachie (1999) gives the example of students taking the perspective of Freud or Skinner in responding to a treatment situation. Role-playing is another means of merging the power of stories with the benefits of active learning.
Stories may also be integrated with technology. You may be able to locate computer-based or interactive stories that relate to your course content. (If you are programming-savvy or have time on your hands, you may even be able to develop these kinds of applications.) Teaching Web sites can also be rich sources of stories. And you don't always have to be the storyteller; films and Web sites may also be effective means of delivering psychology's stories.
TELLING STORIES IN CLASS The lecture itself may be structured as a narrative, or a story can simply be an illustration of a key point. Taking advantage of the natural drama of research stories can help the pacing and flow of your lectures. Imagine yourself as a storyteller, perhaps with your students gathered around a campfire. Rather than marching through the material, fact by fact, you can add storytelling flourishes. Let the suspense build - pause for a moment before revealing the results of the study, to draw in students' attention. Stories can also be a natural way to introduce humour into your lecture. One way to learn about how to tell a story is to listen to master storytellers at work. National Public Radio provides some wonderful examples: Garrison Keillor, for instance, enthrals thousands of people each week with his tales of Lake Wobegon. You may also know people in your own life - relatives, friends, and colleagues - who can spin a marvellous tale. Take note of how they involve their audience, and use those techniques as you develop your own style. Do they pause at key places? What information do they give early on to draw listeners in, and how do they maintain suspense? Do they bring characters to life with vivid descriptions or unique voices? Just as you develop your own style of teaching, so too can you develop your own style of storytelling that draws on role models, but fits your own personality. As with any example, a story should be a clear illustration of the principle you're trying to demonstrate. Because listeners have their own interpretations of the point of stories, it is your responsibility as an instructor to make the message of the story clear, and draw links between the story and the abstract principles it demonstrates. Beginning students, especially, may not be able to make these connections on their own, or they may remember peripheral aspects of the story rather than the main point. Students should be aware that classroom stories are part of the learning experience, not a tangent from it. Keep the story clean and to the point. Furthermore, if a story doesn't quite match the concept you are trying to demonstrate, you may be better off omitting it. At exam time, students who remember a story from class should not be misled by its conclusions.
When is the best time to tell a story for it to have the maximum impact? Schank (1990) suggest that stories should come after surprises, or expectation failures. When individuals have recognized flaws in their existing models of the world, they are open to correcting those models. Individuals are especially open to learning when the expectation failure and story are relevant to their goals.
For example, suppose you had just come back from teaching a particularly frustrating day of class, where students' minds were wandering and you couldn't seem to engage the class. If at that moment, your colleague told you about how she had transformed her classroom environment by starting each lecture with a story that presented a real-world problem or mystery, and working through it over the course of the class session, you might be especially open to learning from that tale. For your students, framing stories with relevant problems (succeeding at a job, getting along with roommates) may help make them more likely to be attended to and recalled. Along the same lines, stories can be told from different points of view. Think about perspective when you're designing your lecture. You could describe an experiment from the researcher's point of view, but you might instead begin by telling the story of what a participant in that study experienced instead, to draw students into the situation. Imagine, for example, being a participant in the Asch conformity studies, with rising levels of confusion and doubt as your fellow participants continue to give wrong answers to a line judgment task. Stories can encourage empathy, and putting themselves in participants' shoes can sometimes help students understand the power of experimental situations. Varying the presentation of research to focus on a researcher versus a participant perspective can also help add spice to your lectures. IIn some types of courses, particularly smaller seminars, it may be appropriate to have students share stories from their own lives, and indeed, students may spontaneously do this even in larger courses. This is another form of active learning, and students may be even more attentive to a story told by their peers. An instructor's role might then be to link aspects of these narratives to theories or principles in the psychological literature. (Students may become frustrated with a course that appears to consist only of sharing individual experiences, without links to theory or research.) If individuals are likely to be sharing stories that may be sensitive - for example, struggles with psychological disorders, experiences with stereotyping or prejudice, - ground rules about respect for others, not discussing personal revelations outside the classroom, and the like should be established early.
Can there be a downside to using stories in the classroom? One issue that psychology instructors sometimes face, especially in introductory and social psychology courses, is helping students to understand that personal experience isn't everything and that psychological questions can be tested scientifically and evaluated with data. Your use of stories should be integrated with reference to empirical evidence, so that students do not come away with the impression that a single story, even an especially vivid and compelling one, should be understood as proof for a particular position. You may also want to solicit student feedback on your stories, especially if you are telling a particular story for the first time, or if you are new at introducing storytelling into your teaching. You might ask students to list stories that they found to be interesting and useful, and alternatively, note whether any stories seemed to wander or create confusion. At the end of class or after telling a story, you might take a minute or so to ask students to summarize the point of a story you told, to make sure that your message has been conveyed. Stories can serve another function that goes beyond the classroom. Shared narrative can be a force in creating community. Stories tie current students to traditions and people from the past. If an important event or discovery took place on your campus or in your town, let students know about it. Tell stories that embody the values of your discipline and your campus. Share your teaching stories with colleagues.
And may you and your students live happily ever after
Aronson, E. (1995). The social animal. (7th ed.). New York: W. H. Freeman. Birren, J. E., & Schroots, J. J. F. (Eds.). (2000). A history of geropsychology in autobiography. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Brannigan, G.G., & Merrens, M.R. (1995). The social psychologists: Research adventures. New York: McGraw-Hill. Bruner, J. S. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Fancher, R. E. (1996). Pioneers of psychology. (3rd ed.) New York: Norton. Green, M. C., & Brock, T. C. (2000). The role of transportation in the persuasiveness of public narratives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 401-421. Green, M. C., Strange, J. J. & Brock, T. C. (Eds.) (2002). Narrative impact: Social and cognitive foundations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Harwell, C. W. (1980). Disordered personalities in literature. New York: Longman. Hock, R. R. (2002). Forty studies that changed psychology: Explorations into the history of psychological research. (4th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Hunt, M. (1993). The story of psychology. New York: Anchor Books. Kimble, G. A., Wertheimer, M., & White, C. L. (Eds.). (1991). Portraits of pioneers in psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. McKeachie, W.J. (1999). Teaching tips (10th ed.). Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Company.
-Meyer, R. G. (2003). Case studies in abnormal behaviour (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Polichak, J.W., & Gerrig, R.J. (2002). Get up and win: Participatory responses to narrative. In Green, M. C., Strange, J. J. & Brock, T. C. 96). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Schank, R.C. (1990). Tell me a story. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Schank, R. C., & Abelson, R. P. (1995). Knowledge and memory: The real story. In R. S. Wyer, Jr. (Ed.), Advances in social cognition Reprinted with permission. First published in APS Observer, April 2004, Vol.:17 : 4
Your first step is to find a story. Not just any story. Find a story you love! You’ll tell it often, and you want to enjoy it every time.
A story for telling could be
a folktale, meaning a story from the oral tradition. This could be a fairy tale, hero tale, humorous tale, tall tale, wisdom tale, animal story or fable, love story, ghost story, myth, or legend.
a “literary tale,” by a single author, originally meant to be read.
a real-life story, from history or personal experience.
For most beginners, folktales are easiest, because they’re made for telling. They’re simple, direct, and lively, with built-in memory aids. So from here on, we’ll focus on folktales.
You can gather folktales from books, storytelling recordings, and word of mouth. Find books and recordings in both the adult and the children’s sections of your library and bookstore.
Start with short tales—one to three pages of text, or a few minutes of recording. Look for stories with clear action, strong characters, and simple structure. Of course, pick a story that also suits your listeners, if you know who they’ll be. Modern retellings are easiest to work from, because they are already refined and adapted for listeners in our culture. But you too can alter a story to suit yourself or your audience.
Professional storytellers must be careful about copyright protection on stories they wish to tell, but this is less important for an amateur. If you have relied on only one version of the story, it is courtesy to at least mention your source. Be aware, though, that some storytellers—including many native Americans—feel you’ve stolen their stories if you tell them without personal permission.
Storytellers learn their stories in many different ways. Some read or listen to a story over and over. Some meditate on it. Some type or write out the story. Some draw charts. Some begin telling the story at once. However you do it, you must absorb the story until it becomes second nature. Find the best way for you. Some parts of the story can be memorized word for word—beautiful beginnings and endings, important dialog, colorful expressions, rhymes and repeated phrases. But don’t try to memorize an entire folktale that way. Strict reciting creates a distance from your listeners that is hard to bridge. Instead, picture the story. See the scenes in your mind, as clearly as you can. Later, these pictures will help you recreate your story as you tell it—whether or not you consciously call them to mind. It’s best to practice your story with a “mirror.” This can be a real mirror, or an audio or video recorder, or a friend—anything that helps you “see” how you’re doing. First practice to get the storyline. Your version won’t convey everything from the story you found, but it must convey enough to make sense. Then, once the story is straight in your mind, focus on how you tell it. Use repetition. In folktales, events often repeat themselves in threes—a magic number. Pay special attention to repeated rhymes and phrases. Repetition helps your listeners stick with the story by providing familiar landmarks. Alongside repetition, use variety. Vary the tone, the pitch, and the volume of your voice, your speed, your rhythms, your articulation (smooth or sharp). Use silences. Remember, variety catches and holds attention. Use gestures, but only ones that help the story. Use them to mime the action, or just for emphasis. Make them big! Gestures keep the eyes on you. In your story, pay special attention to beginnings and endings. You may want to practice an introduction along with the story. This introduction can tell something about the story or about you. But don’t give away the plot! Endings should be clear, so your listeners know that your story’s over without your telling them. You can do this by slowing down and adding emphasis. For example, many story endings use a “slow three”—“happily ever after,” “that’s the end of that,” “and they never saw him again.” Pay special attention also to how you portray your characters. Good characters bring a story to life—so put life into them, with face, voice, gesture, body posture. Try to make each of them different enough so they’re easily told apart. When portraying two characters talking together, try a trick called “cross-focus": Make each one face a different 45-degree angle. You’ll tell stories at your best if you prepare not only your story but yourself. Your voice and body are your instrument, and it helps to use them well. To project and sustain your voice, you must breathe deeply and correctly. To check this, place your hand on your stomach. As you inhale and your lungs expand, you should feel your stomach push out. Many people do the opposite, holding in their stomachs and breathing only with their upper chests. Also be sure to keep your back straight, so your lungs can expand fully. ’t push your voice too hard or use it unnaturally (except maybe when speaking as a character.) To avoid strain, relax your throat and jaw muscles, and the rest of your body as well. A big, loud sigh will help this. Also try the “lion’s yawn”—open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out as far as it goes. Pronounce each sound of each word distinctly. Tongue twisters are good for making the tongue more nimble.
’t think you have to be perfect the first time you tell your story. It’s not likely! But, if you love your story and have prepared it reasonably well, you will surely give pleasure to your listeners and yourself. And, each time you tell the story, you and your story will improve. If possible, tell your story first to friends in a small group. As you gain confidence, perform for larger, less intimate groups. Before long, you’ll think nothing of telling to a large room full of strangers. Storytellers have their own styles, differing widely. If a suggestion here doesn’t fit your idea of how you want to tell stories, ignore it. ’t be afraid to try something different, if it feels right. A good storytelling space is comfortable, intimate, and free of distractions. Check the space ahead of time, so you can spot problems and arrange any special needs—a stool, a glass of water. You may also want time alone just beforehand, to collect yourself, or to “warm up” your voice and body. Give your listeners the full force of you. Aim your voice at the back row. Make your words ring. Avoid verbal trash like “um” or “y’know.” Sit or stand, but face your audience squarely, and with a straight back. No fidgeting, hands in pockets, or shifting from foot to foot. Storytelling is magic in part because it’s personal—so make a personal contact with your listeners. Talk to them—not at them—and don’t be afraid to talk with them. Look them in the eyes. If there are too many of them, or you can’t see them all, look mostly at the ones in front. If some aren’t paying attention, focus on those who are. As you tell your story, take your time, and give time to your listeners—time to “see” the story, time to laugh, time to feel, time to reflect, time to hang on the edge of their seats for what comes next. It’s easy to go too fast, hard to go too slow. If you’re losing their attention, you may need to slow down! After the story, be sure to leave time for the audience to appreciate you. Storytelling is interactive. As your listeners respond to your story, let your story respond to your listeners. Make your voice and gestures “bigger” or “smaller.” Stretch or shrink parts of the story. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t, so next time you can change, add, or subtract. Above all, trust yourself, your audience, and your story. Remember, anyone who comes to hear a storyteller is already on your side. Just being a storyteller is magic—even before you say a word.
Here are some ways to go further with storytelling. See and hear as many good storytellers as you can. You’ll pick up performance techniques, new stories, and general storytelling magic. Storytelling festivals are wonderful events held all over North America and the United Kingdom. Read folktale collections. You’ll not only find stories to tell, you’ll develop a feel for what makes a folktale. This will help if you want to alter a tale or create a new one. Take a class. Many colleges, universities, and other organizations sponsor them. This is a fairly “safe” way to begin storytelling, with support and helpful comments. Join a local storytelling group. Many communities have groups that meet to try out stories or organize performances. Above all, tell, tell, tell, as often as you can. That’s the best way to learn storytelling!