Storytelling can be an effective teaching strategy when done correctly. Stories can captivate students and teach them very important lessons which can benefit their attitude and performance at school. Here are some storytelling tips you can use to successfully engage a younger audience.
One of the best storytelling tips is to use video animation. When you think about children's favourite programmes, they are mostly animated. Using animation is a great way to tell a story because you have more artistic freedom compared to live action.
Along with more freedom, you also have the opportunity to create characters and settings that reflect your school and brand.
Take a look at our recent video for Doncaster Council, and see how we used animation to help improve attendance in over 100 schools!
Younger audiences appreciate and engage with animated characters. Again, some of their favourite cartoon characters are animated. With animation, your characters can be more imaginative and engaging to your students.
With animated characters, they can be used in motion graphic videos and be printed on posters and other learning materials. Your characters can become a central part of your teaching.
For younger audiences, they need a hero or heroine (or both) they can cheer for. In any successful television series or film, there is always a protagonist who takes the centre stage and has the backing of the audience. When creating your characters, you should focus your time on creating a main character your students will like and cheer for.
When creating characters for any story, they must be relatable for the audience. For students in primary school, they engage best with characters who are the same age as them or only slightly older. If a character is many years older, your students will struggle to empathise with them.
The best stories are ones that make you 'aww' and laugh. Of course, your story will have an important message for children, like the importance of school attendance and treating people respectfully. However, if your story lacks imagination, comedy or drama, then it will fail to engage your students' interest. There needs to be a fine balance of entertainment and teaching for your story to be successful.
Once you've created your characters, they don't need to stay in the virtual world, they can also come to life.
You can get costumes of your characters which teachers can wear at school. Your students can talk to their favourite characters and they can be used in important teaching moments.
Sam and Sammie, two characters we created to improve attendance in Doncaster schools, were made for an animated video and lifesize costumes were created too. Children loved speaking and playing with the characters. Having the opportunity to interact with these characters helps students remember important lessons, like: getting to school on time.
Nowadays children are fluent with modern technology. They can use smartphones and iPads with their eyes closed. Because children regulary use the internet, they also use the web to learn and study.
If you create a successful story and popular characters for your students, you can create more stories about the same characters and upload them onto your school website. Students can watch the videos on there. These videos are also great for showing prospective parents that you're investing in your students' education in a fun and creative way. Check out the website we created for Sam and Sammie!