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Learning Science through Stories

We all grow up hearing stories from our elders about so many different things. Stories form the key to child’s learning especially during elementary stages. They capture a child’s imaginations in the text. Children of all ages love when learning happens in a narrative way through stories. One can teach so many concepts to a child easily through stories.

angry_birdsIt is, however, interesting to know why one should teach science by stories. For me, both science and stories are big mystery bags which one unveils as one goes deeper into both of them. While stories answer for the emotional side of the brain, science answers for its rational side. However, one rarely sees a science teacher using story as a stimulus for teaching any concept.

I feel stories are easier for children to remember and understand than a list of new facts and terms taught to them in isolation. Stories act as a wonderful link to connect scientific concepts to real life situations. For example, concepts like force and work taught in complete isolation may seem difficult to understand for a child. Yet, the same concept taught through a story where characters are in different situations, applying force and dealing with its reaction, allows a child to comprehend the scientific aspect well.

Stories can also be used to explain concepts that cannot be taught in the classroom environment. For example, it is very difficult to teach plant adaptations in the classroom especially for those plants that may not be naturally available in that particular habitat. Using stories for such a topic will help children to discover the features of those plants.

Stories are also a wonderful way of introducing new vocabulary to children. Children tend to retain words more in their active vocabulary that they hear in the stories.

The most important skills of inquiry science i.e. observation, drawing inferences and thus creating a hypothesis can be developed very easily through stories and narrative texts. This and many other skills of science can be developed in a child with the help of stories. What is important is selecting contextual and age-appropriate stories for the child and you will see improvement in how a child perceives scientific concepts and how easily s/he connects to them.

I am sharing a link which has a few examples of stories to teach some science concepts to get you started. So, take your folktales and fables to the classroom and enjoy the experience of teaching science in a fun yet informative manner.

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/files/PB333X1web.pdf

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About the Author

Mahak Katyal
Mahak Katyal
Associate – Curriculum Development
“I imagine Science to be investigative with a huge thrust on building conceptual clarity.” Mahak’s background in Biotechnology makes her approach to Science valuable. She also dabbles with the Hindi curriculum with a dream to see that each child bonds with the language and enjoys learning it. She is the internal hawk eye in EI’s library  who keeps a close watch on what goes in and out. Her other interests include travel, reading and writing.

 




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