Module - Learning scenarios

How to plan a lesson including storytelling?

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When we plan our lessons, we aim to make them attractive and meaningful for and with our learners. In the following, we will show the steps in the lesson where storytelling can be used to support and achieve this. We are guided by Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction (1965) as revised by Gagné, Briggs and Wager (1992). At this point it should be emphasised that we want to use this model primarily as a guide for different phases of teaching. Basically, with StoryComp we do not follow the one-way learning approach, that teaching is something the teacher does with the learner. Rather, the project is based - as explained in detail in the conceptual framework ▾ - on the approach of competence-based learning, in which learning is seen as a constructive and co-creative, as mutual process where teachers and learners ally on the journey of learning. It is not just about transmitting knowledge, but about activating learners and involving them in the learning situation. They learn best in meaningful contexts and in collaboration and interaction with others and their environment. In this way, they are able to acquire knowledge for themselves, construct knowledge and check and match their newly constructed ideas with those of others. This underlines the need to design lessons that are highly responsive to learners, but also open up new horizons and perspectives for them and get them excited about things they may never have heard of before. Please keep this in mind when we now describe how storytelling can be integrated at the stages of a lesson named by Gagné.
Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction by CourseArc is licensed under CC BY 4.0. ▾
As you will see, storytelling can be used in more or less all steps of lesson design. How and for what purpose you use it in a particular lesson is, of course, up to you. This paragraph is not meant to imply that storytelling should always be used everywhere, just because that would work. Rather, it is meant to show how versatile this method can be and how it can expand your repertoire of methods for varied lesson design.
1. Gain attention of the learners

Provide an initial stimulus related to the topic/lesson to capture learners' attention, involve them by picking up from their own experiences and activate them for your journey of learning. Possible implementations with storytelling:

2. Inform learners of objectives - find and define

Let learners know what your intention and goals are with this course or lesson. Find out what they expect from the course, what they want to experience, learn, be able to do. In this way you can define common objectives and also help your learners to prepare mentally for what they are about to see, hear and/or do. Possible implementations with storytelling:

3. Stimulate recall of prior learning

Help your learners to link the new knowledge with existing knowledge by recalling what they have already learned or experienced. Possible implementations with storytelling:

4. Present the content

Use as many different methods as possible to appeal to all the senses and to suit the different types of learners. Address not only the cognitive but also the emotional side of the learners for sustainable learning.

5. Provide learning guidance

Advise learners on strategies to help them learn content and on available resources. In other words, help learners learn how to learn. Or in terms of storytelling, help learners to build and structure a story, to create it using verbal skills, to memorise it or write it down.

6. Elicit performance (practice)

Allow learners to apply knowledge and skills learned.

7. Provide feedback & 8. Assess performance

Give learners direct and immediate feedback to support them on their learning journey, encourage them and give them opportunities to identify and close gaps in understanding. Feedback can be given in many ways: to the whole learning group (good practices; typical mistakes...), to the individual learner or peer to peer. The way of assessment depends very much on what has been set as common learning objectives at the beginning. If the primary objective was to impart concrete knowledge, there are a variety of proven assessment methods, such as exams/quizzes, written assignments, projects, etc. If it was more about raising awareness of a topic/issue, it is more about feedback from your learners than actual assessment.

8. Enhance retention and transfer

Help learners to embed their new learning and connect it to previous knowledge/experiences, future actions and/or their personal background and everyday life.

References Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2020). Gagné's nine events of instruction. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants.

Retrieved from ▾ Gagne, R. M., Wager, W.W., Golas, K. C. & Keller, J. M (2005). Principles of Instructional Design (5th edition). California: Wadsworth.

Here you'll find concrete learning scenarios with Storytelling in
Basic Education ▾
Here you'll find concrete learning scenarios with Storytelling in
Civic Education ▾