Thursday, March 25, 2021

Q & A With Brookes Publishing

Read my recent Q & A with Brookes Publishing where I discuss my new book.

Q. Your book explores the ways in which analyzing and creating stories can improve literacy and learning skills for all students. How does the process of mastering storytelling help boost those critical skills?

A. As a speech-language pathologist, anytime I evaluate a student’s receptive and expressive language I look at how they express themselves in connected discourse. Retelling a story is often part of that process. The ability to retell a story or create an original narrative are important skills for both school and life. Standardized tests have even been created to measure these abilities, and I discuss some of these tests in my book.

Understanding story structure gives kids a framework to organize a narrative that helps them determine which details to prioritize so they can recall those details, sequence information, make meaning out of new words and concepts, and learn to self-question to assess their own comprehension.

Stories are part of our daily lives. Families members tell stories to connect with each other, share their history, and to inform. Peers share stories to build relationships. Educators use stories to teach. Marketers use stories to persuade. Lawyers use stories to prove guilt or innocence. Detectives interview witnesses and use their stories to solve crimes. Stories help us to take the perspective of others, organize the events of our life, and make meaning from chaos.

I have found that struggling learners typically have two approaches to retelling a story. Either they have no frame of reference for the events, shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t know,” or else they feel they must start at the beginning and include every single detail they can remember. Both responses stem from not understanding the basic structure of a narrative and what elements are essential to include in a retelling. When a student understands that structure, they then have a framework for organizing all kinds of narratives—those they encounter in school and those they encounter in everyday life. Consider how many core subjects use stories to convey information on topics as diverse as the Revolutionary War to space flight...

For the rest of the Q & A, visit the Brookes website. To receive a code for 20% off of Story Frames in my March and April newsletters and receive a free story template, sign up for my mailing list.

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