Innovative Science Learning Through Storytelling

 
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Anyone who spends time with a young child will likely relate to being asked to read the same story dozens of times, with each repetition met with the same rapt attention, wonderment, and delight as if the story were being shared for the first time.

We can support students’ deep engagement with content through innovative delivery that taps into the power of storytelling. While the immersive power of a good story to capture a child’s heart and mind has long been used as an effective tool to support learning in the domains of language arts and social studies, may not be a strategy that comes to mind as quickly in the realm of science learning. Yet the Field Museum in Chicago has developed techniques to share science knowledge through compelling narratives that can provide inspiration for both formal and informal educators.

Compelling narratives:

  • provide rich context to make otherwise seemingly abstract ideas relevant in a personally meaningful way

  • allow for the true excitement of curiosity to shine through, fueling children’s own curiosity and interest in the process

  • can help children see the scientists portrayed in the story as real human beings, and thus help them identify with those scientists

  • promote inclusivity in science, potentially inspiring children’s pursuit of future science learning.

Read about how the Field Museum employs the key narrative components of topic, audience, purpose, narrator, and characters to fuel a journey of discovery.

 
Anne Bauer