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Weekly Tool Tip


Retention Tool # 13: The Power of Stories

 Purpose: To show students how using stories can significantly boost state, meaning, attention, retention and transfer of information. Remember the phrase, "Stories stick, facts fade."

  • Step 1: Read a story to your students or get one of the students to read the story out loud.
  • Step 2: Ask students to discuss with each other what they remember about that story.
  • Step 3: Debrief what has been remembered about that story.
  • Step 4: Ask students why they believe they remember so much information in a story.
  • Step 5: Explain some of the reasons why stories are so effective in helping us remember information. You may wish to use the metaphor of the"save" key. When we hear a story we can see it, we can animate it with movement and action, and we can vividly experience it with all our senses.
  • Step 6: You may wish to use the stories attached to demonstrate how vocabulary can be learned by using stories.
  • Step 7: Encourage students to use stories in their own communication and for you as a teacher, model great story-telling whenever you have the opportunity.

 NOTE: Research in Scientific American magazine showed that when high-school students were exposed to information written in the time format retention increased by around 300%. The power of stories to boost learning and a love of learning is immeasurable.

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