How stories can boost learning in children

Srini Vermula, founder and math++ Guru at igebra

Stories are a child’s first best friend. They create magic and a sense of wonder about the world. Storytelling is one of the oldest and most effective forms of teaching as it is much easier to remember than simple facts. Storytelling can be an effective way to help kids understand concepts, visualise and learn.

Stories are not just literary narratives but a tool to illustrate even the most complex and abstract subjects like Mathematics and Data Science. Storytelling is a human art form that engages both the mind and the body thereby creating a sense of relatedness. Stories bring information to life in a meaningful and relatable way. 

Importance of stories for children

Stories spark curiosity in kids, and help them overcome resistance towards learning. Storytelling provides kids with a window to new worlds. It provides them an opportunity to learn Data Science and Mathematics by listening to and engaging with an exciting story. 

Storytelling is a creative and effective way to teach kids about concepts like Data Science in a more fun and engaging way.

Listening to stories helps boost academic learning. Stories have academic level vocabulary with new words for the kids to learn. Besides improving vocabulary, storytelling can make math learning fun by piquing their interest in numbers.The abstract mathematical concepts help create a more relatable image through stories in the mind of kids.

Benefits of storytelling for children

  • Stories make lessons engaging: A story usually has an underlying message or lesson that the speaker is trying to convey to its audience. Storytelling is an excellent tool that turns information into a relatable narrative with an underlying lesson making it engaging and fun for kids.
  • Improves memory: Stories usually attract the complete attention of kids, and teaching kids through stories helps them retain data and mathematical concepts better. Weaving learning into stories makes it more interesting and fun. It activates the brain’s right hemisphere, and embeds the information into a strong memory template.
  • Nurtures imagination: A story inspires kids to imagine the characters, plot and situations and relate to them. Storytelling encourages their imagination to run wild as the story unfolds. Through stories, concepts such as Data Science can be taught easily to kids that improves their pattern recognition and visualisation skills. 
  • Improves communication skills’: Stories encourage kids to increase their ability to express themselves. Storytelling can help kids to improve their vocabulary too. Storytelling activates ‘neural coupling’, a brain function that  enables the listener to convert the ideas presented in the story into one’s own ideas and experiences. Learning concepts through storytelling helps to make communication more personal and relatable.
  • Boosts social skills: Storytelling can teach children much about the world and life. Kids learn to be more patient as they listen to others speak.
  • Develops empathy: Storytelling helps inculcate empathy and often reinforces social virtues such as compassion and kindness required for a better society.
  • Develops moral values: Stories can serve as a powerful tool to teach important cultural ideals and morals to children. Some stories also provide children exposure to diverse cultures. 

 

To conclude, stories provide a common thread that helps unite children with complex and abstract concepts, thereby providing a delightful learning experience. 

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