How Storytelling Helps Retain Math Concepts

Creative Math – Thinking of math as a creative subject doesn’t mean reinventing what 2 plus 2 equals, but instead looking at innovative ways to engage students in math. One way to spice up the subject is by bringing storytelling into lessons.


Storytelling can help turn math into something fun while kick starting a student’s interest in numbers. Storytelling in particular, spoken aloud rather than being read from a page or in a book, can help embed lessons more deeply. From making “constant eye contact” — as opposed to “reading from a book,” where someone’s head is down — this different style of engagement can help students connect more to a storyteller and to the lesson at hand, as detailed by educators Mary Barr Goral and Cindy Meyers Gnadinger in a 2006 piece titled “Using storytelling to teach mathematics concepts.”


Storytelling may also boost social-emotional learning capabilities in children, particularly those around creative and critical thinking.


In a 2018 paper, “Promoting Creativity and Critical Thinking Though Digital Storytelling: Perceptions of Undergraduate Students,” Ohio Northern University education faculty member and researcher Albert Akyeampong noted that college students stated they needed to use critical thinking skills to consider how to tell a story using the tools at hand — in their case, digital technology. With K-12 students, critical and creative thinking skills would also be tapped in considering how to follow or even create a narrative around math problems.


H/T: K12dive





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