And now it is time for a story…

As an English teacher, this is my bread and butter – the narrative.  I am fascinated by how we tell stories, read stories, interpret stories.  So in this technological age, we have to be careful that we keep up with the ways in which we interact with narratives otherwise we will go the way of the dinosaurs. Let’s face it changes keep happening and change the way we read and understand stories: 


My new paperwhite Kindle has yet again changed the physical experience of reading a book.  It allows pages to turn in a mildly sci-fi experiential way.  The concept of tapping a page to turn them is not dissimilar to Tapestry which encourages simplistic tap and tell tales, but encourages writing them as well as passively consume texts to creatively write them.  The only thing better is that the Kindle will know when I want to turn the page instinctively.  It seems incredible to me that Film Studies is still a second class citizen to literature and that multi modal as a buzz word is still sidelined in the academic perception.

So educationally I am totally on board with the idea of the importance of story in teaching.  I had played with the relevance of Pecha Kutcha as a revision tool with My IB student’s last year.  This meant giving all students an ‘angle’ to interpret the text and then tell the ‘story’ for their own way.  I gave the students an example of the kind of thing I was expecting.  The question I was answering was “how does the text reflect and challenge the spirit of the times in which it was written?”.  I answered this using the three texts we had studied: An Evil Cradling, Bryan Keenan; Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi; and in this example A Doll’s House, Henrick Ibsen. So, in the words of John Noakes (maybe a cultural reference for Brits only!) here’s one I made earlier!:

For the purpose of this post, I had loads of ideas of what story to tell – I took video of National poetry day preparations and open evening, then thought a look at Michael Goves ‘contribution’ to education in the UK – but ended up focussing on a Ballad as a form of narrative.  In this way I actually considered the application of the visual to real lessons.  My year 8 (7th grade) class had been telling stories using the oral traditions of the ballad.  This video tells of a real way in which this could enhance the curriculum for young people.

Credits to Jacob (my son) who in effect did extra homework by trialling my idea using his own ballad.  Also he showed me how to get free sound effects from soundbible.


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