As I prepared my presentation, I knew I was going to be talking about how storytelling can engage students and build a classroom community, no matter what the content of the class. Somehow I didn’t think saying “I dunno, it just works” was going to be sufficient. (Even though it does “just work.”)
Have fun exploring the following collection of links! (They are in no particular order)
Empathy in the Time of Technology: How Storytelling is the Key to Empathy, PJ Manney
The author focuses on storytelling in the form of novels, but the effects of oral storytelling are similar
The Trust Molecule, Paul J Zack
Why your brain loves good storytelling, Paul J. Zack
There's a lot more Paul Zack out there -- the man's very enthusiastic to say the least. An attempt at nuanced look at his approach to storytelling is a subject for another time.
Your Brain on Storytelling, Susan Weinshank
This should get you started. I'm not saying that any of this is any kind of "proof" that you should start every class with a story -- usually a folk tale, but there is something behind it all.
Just ask my students. They're most upset when I skip the story!
During the workshop on Saturday, I promised to provide some links to places to find folktales.
Here we go
D. L. Ashliman -- a trifle Eurocentric, but folktales coming out your ears!
Sur La Lune -- lots of folktales, lots of information about folktales
Internet Sacred Text Archives -- Myths, Legends, some folktales. You'll have to poke around some, but there is good stuff here
And of course, you can always check with your library!