Storytelling and narrative can be utilized across the disciplines to generate empathy, make meaning, personalize, organize information, build community and strengthen connections between students’ personal experiences and course content. These concepts are intrinsically linked, but pedagogues have identified the important ways in which they differ. Storytelling focuses on the synthesis of many parts. Narrative examines the particular point of view or perspective from which a story is told.

Classroom Applications

Tell a Story invites students who have carefully observed one particular image or artifact to weave their observations together into a coherent story about the source.

Narrative Voice encourages students to take on the perspective of one or more characters to tell (or re-tell) a story from a particular perspective.

Further Reading

  • Abrahamson, Craig Eilert, “Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education.” Education 118, no. 3. (Spring 1998.)
  • Bedford, Leslie, “Storytelling: The Real Work of Museums.” Curator 44, no. 1 (January 2001): 27–
  • Combs, Martha and John D. Beach, “Stories and Storytelling: Personalizing the Social Studies.” The Reading Teacher  47, no. 6 (March 1994): 464-471.
  • Lanser, Susan Sniader, The Narrative Act: Point of View in Prose Fiction. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.