Teaching Science Using Stories: The Storyline Approach by: Aaron D. Isabelle

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Storytelling is an age-old and powerful means of communication that can be used as an effective teaching strategy in the science classroom. This article describes the authors’ experiences implementing the Storyline Approach, an inquiry-based teaching method first introduced by Kieran Egan (1986), in the context of teaching the concept of air pressure to seventh- and eighth-grade students. Also included are story-shaping strategies and history-of-science resources to assist in the creation of your own story.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:17 AM
  • on Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:49 PM

I love telling stories to my middle school students - I get all dramatic with them while I discuss Archimedes streakin' down the streets of Syracuse - so I liked this article. I was a little concerned about making things up for the story, it makes it sound like science isn't interesting enough without adding fiction. But I guess I, too, add some to my stories to fill in the gaps. Students actually like the stories - I always stop before the end of the "streaker story" and don't finish it unless asked - I make them ASK me to teach them science (so exciting, that!). (Brahe and the silver nose are also VERY popular). Makes scientists (and science) more human and less scary. Highly recommend adding this to one's teaching repertoire.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

  • on Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:35 PM

Using a story to teach a science concept is a great idea. I am sure there are already many fictional books available on science history and concepts, so you would not have to reinvent the wheel and write an original story each time. It reminds me of the science court TV series, where a story accompanies exploration with a science concept.

Christina B
Christina B

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