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From Chip Colquhoun, Epic Storyteller:
Despite the increasingly pressurised atmosphere in schools, especially in the year of COVID-19, we at Epic Tales have helped teachers to keep every child in their class calm, focused, and improving their cross-curricular attainment.
So in this short video, I’m going to share the three foundational pillars of the approach that we developed. And in the end, if you’d like to build up your use of this approach, I’ll share details of our upcoming free Teachers’ Powerclass in Storytelling.
Now I am Chip Colquhoun, I’ve been a traditional storyteller for nearly 20 years. I was one of the first online storytellers for the Oxford Owl phonics scheme, and I wrote the EU’s guidance on using storytelling in classrooms for educational development.
But why is storytelling worth your attention? Well, I’ve trained teachers in this approach across the globe, and so rather than hear from me, let’s hear from some of them…
Gill Davies, Headteacher:
“So one of our Reception children who has English as a second language was speaking with confidence; the vocabulary that he was using, just… it blew my mind. I would have been proud of a Reception child using that language if English was their first language…”
Louise Lightley, Deputy Head:
“We’ve noticed a big difference and a big improvement in our children’s confidence.”
Miss Black, Year 2 Teacher:
“Two of my least confident children in the class actually put their hands up at the end, and I thought “Really?!” Those two children wouldn’t usually do that.”
A proud mum:
“You wrote five pages on it! She’s never sat down and just written a story on her own before. She’s been inspired.”
Gill Davies, Headteacher:
“…a couple of my really new Reception children in their first term of school, and I was completely blown away! The vocabulary they were using, the confidence…”
There; you also heard from a proud mum there, and key words I hope you picked up on were “inspired,” “confidence,” and even “new Reception children in their first term.” This really is an approach that raises children’s ability, confidence, and well-being – and does so fast.
And you can do it if you know how it works.
So how does it work?
Well, like any storyteller will tell you, good things come in threes…
So Pillar One is the Engagement Keychain. Regardless of what you may think good storytelling has nothing to do with acting or using voices, or even using actions. Those can all be good features of engaging storytelling, sure – but they are nothing without the keychain, and that is noticing your children and adapting your presentation to suit them.
It sounds simple, but honestly – stop worrying about how you look, and it makes all the difference.
Pillar Two is Imagination Investment. Now, there is no such thing as a child with no imagination. It is part of the human survival instinct. So if you can tap into their intrinsic ability to create, you will win their investment into absolutely any learning outcome you are trying to teach.
And finally, Pillar Three is the Story Instinct. Again, it’s instinctive for every human being to search for meaning in stories – especially meaning that’s crucial to our survival. And if you can frame your lessons with an emotional narrative – and the key word there was “emotional” – it’s been scientifically proven that you can increase your children’s retention of that lesson by 25%.
So there you are; those are all the techniques that traditional storytellers use to utterly enthral their audiences, and I’d love to help you master them for the benefit of your children’s learning.
So if you want to help your children grow into successful human beings who enjoy their time at school, then choose one of our upcoming Teachers’ Powerclasses in Storytelling from the link here, and book a free ticket for you and your colleagues.
Please note, though, that we are restricted to a maximum capacity of 500, so I highly recommend you book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.
I look forward to seeing you there!