teacher resources


I am pleased that you could visit with me. I hope the information offered below will make your job just a little bit easier. The Internet is blooming with a veritable garden of websites to help you integrate storytelling into your classroom activities. From math to theater, language to art, I have compiled a list of useful websites to help you take flight!


One of the most powerful statements on the importance of using storytelling in the classroom comes from The National Council of Teachers of English. Read their entire position statement.


In addition, please take a moment to read the research below on the innate and powerful benefits of storytelling. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to send me a note at . Together, we can bring the magic of story to a whole new generation of children.


books to guide you curriculum connections stories bibliography web bibliography applause award



Compiled and generously shared by renowned storyteller and educator, Kendall Haven. Kendall has compiled all of his remarkable research in his new book
Story Proof - The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story, available through Libraries Unlimited


Neural Research

The human brain is predisposed to think in story terms. This predisposition is continuously reinforced and strengthened as the brain develops up through age 12. Adults arrive dependent on interpreting events and other human's behavior through a specific story architecture.

[Ambruseter, et al (1987), Bransford and Brown (2000), Bransford and Stein (1993), Bruner (1990 and 1987), Denning (2001), Egan (1997), Gopnik, et al (1999), Kotulak (1999), Mallan (1997), Pinker (2000 and 1997), Ricoeur (1984), Schank (1990), Tannen (1999), and Turner (1996), among others.]


Research Confirms

Without established context and relevance, the human mind is unlikely to remember new information, and is even less likely to ever recall it.

  • Bransford (1998) "When a topic is unfamiliar to readers/listeners, research shows that the natural tendency is to use familiar story structure with character goal, motive, and struggles to elaborate on available information and to provide mapping structures to bring prior knowledge and experience to bear on the interpretation of current input."
  • Cliatt & Shaw (1988) "The relationship of storytelling and successful children's literacy development is well established." and "...this process (storytelling) enhanced children's development of language and logic skills."
  • Coles (1989) "Stories enhanced recall, retention, application of concepts into new situations, understanding, learner enthusiasm for the subject matter." and "Stories enhanced and accelerated virtually every measurable aspect of learning."
  • Cooper (1997) "In fact, researchers have found that potential employers want their employees to have mastered two aspects of literacy often omitted from school curricula: listening and speaking."
  • Egan (1997) "Young children understand abstract concepts when placed in binary opposition and in the context of stories, but not in logic argument, or rote memorization."
  • Engle (1995) "Children learn storytelling many years before they master logic, persuasion, writing, and other forms of information delivery. Story is an essential precursor to mastery of expository and logical forms."
  • Hanson (2004) "Storytelling is at the least as effective as reading aloud for language arts development."
  • Mello (2001) "Each study documented that storytelling enhanced literacy." and "Storytelling was an effective learning tool that linked literature to content and experience."
  • Schank (1990) "Storytelling has demonstrable, measurable, positive, and irreplaceable value in teaching."
  • Snow and Burns (1998) "Recently the efficacy of early reading and storytelling exposure has been scientifically validated. It has been shown to work."
  • Tannen (1999) "Narrative details create mental images, making possible both understanding and memory."
  • Tannen (1999) "Images (created by details), my research suggests, are more convincing and more memorable than either fact or abstract propositions."
  • Taylor (2001) "Storytelling is a valuable resource for developing critical thinking skills."



Assembled by Karen Chace


Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence

  • Enjoy listening and talking to people. (Collect Oral Histories)
  • Enjoy listening and telling stories. (Attending and performing at story venues)
  • Always successful learners by listening and hearing. (Benefit from group coaching)
  • Enjoys word games, puns, rhymes, tongue-twisters, and poetry. (Noodlehead, Fractured Fairytales and Trickster Tales)

Logical and Mathematical Intelligence

  • Like to ask questions and investigate. (Research and tell historical stories)
  • Enjoy strategy games, logical puzzles and experiments. (Riddle stories)
  • Like to use computers. (Use computer Clip Art to storyboard)
  • Looks for logical sequences and patterns. (Tangrams)

Visual/Spatial Intelligence

  • Have the ability to retrieve the information through the images and pictures. (Digital Storytelling)
  • Good in visual arts, sculpture, architecture and photography. (Cut and Tell, Storyboarding)
  • Has the ability to reproduce clear images in their mind. (Visual characters and setting)

Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence

  • Good with objects and activities involving their body, hands and fingers. (Props)
  • More successful in learning if they can touch, manipulate and move or feel whatever they are learning. (Add movements to story)
  • Children with high Kinesthetic Intelligence learn best with activities: games, acting, hands-on tasks, building. (Storytelling and improvisational games)

Musical Intelligence

  • Have the ability to hear and recognize tones, rhythms and musical patterns.
  • Enjoy listening to music and singing to themselves. (Listen to audio stories)
  • Musical children usually play a musical instrument. (Incorporate music with story)
  • They learn through rhythm and melody. (Incorporate song, rap)

Interpersonal Intelligence

  • Sensitive to facial expressions, gestures and voice. (Audience interaction)
  • Get along with others and they are able to maintain good relationships. (Tandem telling)
  • Like to teach other kids, take part in school organizations and clubs. (Peer Coaching)
  • Have the ability to influence people and are natural leaders. (Story Buddies)
  • Feels comfortable in a crowd. (Storytelling Performance)

Intrapersonal Intelligence

  • They have the ability for self discipline to achieve personal goals.
  • These children are self-motivated. (Practice stories on their own)
  • Prefer to study individually and learn best through observing and listening. (Self Critiques, watch other storytellers in performance)

Naturalist Intelligence

  • Nature smart (Pourquoi stories)
  • Likes to spend time in nature; recognizes subtle meanings and patterns in nature.
  • Likes to speak out about animal right and earth preservation. (Environmental stories)
  • They would enjoy using audio/visual equipment to record nature. (Digital Storytelling)


Benefits of Folktales and Storytelling


  • Are rich materials.
  • Are closer to oral literacy that most all students experience.
  • Are filled with cultural wisdom.
  • Are safe places to examine differences since they are non-threatening.
  • Are the basis for making connections and comparisons.
  • Can reflect backgrounds of diverse students in classrooms.
  • Contain popular themes.
  • Expand the definition of text.
  • Facilitate connections across traditional curricular boundaries.
  • Follow a predictable sequence.
  • Increase student’s knowledge of literature.
  • Integrate learning from various domains.
  • Involve interactive learning.
  • Provide lessons that are remembered for a long time.
  • Stimulate the imagination.


  • Students grow as language learners.
  • The narrative form promotes understanding.
  • Students grow as language learners.
  • Teachers interact with students. Students interact with each other.
  • Telling stories enables a teacher to relate with students on a personal level.
  • One text can serve multiple purposes.
  • Students can learn the role of culture in their lives, become more aware of their own culture, and learn about other cultures.
  • Teachers can adjust the tales to fit curricular and other needs.
  • Students become interested and more knowledgeable about geography.
  • Students know the basic structure of folktales thus requiring less memory load, especially when telling a folktale in a second language.
  • Storytelling provides teachers authentic tasks through which to negotiate meaning, especially in a second language

Source: http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/pehsc/index_files/fpframe_files/Lessons04/TortoiseWins-Complete.pdf



"Robert Root-Bernstein, a biologist and cellist, suggests that we need what he terms "tools of thought" to give meaning to facts and to facilitate creative or transformational thinking. These tools, most of which are embodied in the arts include the use of analogy and metaphor, pattern forming and recognition, visual and kinesthetic thinking, modeling, playacting, manual manipulation, and aesthetics. He believes that the mind and senses alike must be trained equally and in tandem to perceive and to imagine, and points out that few, if any, of these tools of thought are in our standard science curricula. Without these tools of thought kids have difficulty in "connecting," or constructing meaning from an assembly of facts or bits of information."  http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/arts/cabc/oddleifson3.htm



Storytelling In Schools

Do you need specific research to convince your administrators that storytelling is an effective, education tool in the classroom? Well look no further! After months of detailed research Jackie Baldwin and Kate Dudding have organized an amazing, downloadable booklet and brochure. It is filled with quantitative studies, innovative projects books, journals, articles and web sites are all at your fingertips, but the best part is that the project is not complete; it is an ongoing process that will be updated as new studies surface. http://www.storytellinginschools.org/how-to