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Usually, scientific issues are difficult to understand, most of the time because they are presented as a collection of facts with a lot of information to be analyzed at the same time that does not allow the student´s learning in easy way, because it is necessary a big memory and reasoning capacity of many elements in a short time. It demands the investment of  long time to  learn and short time to forget (Negrete and Lartigue 2004).

On the other hand, Storytelling is considered a powerful educative tool because it improves student´s comprenhension about facts, along the exercise of transforming reality in a sequence of events (with cause-effects analysis) with certain feeling, using metaphors and sometimes anthromorphisms, that develop certain emotional involvement of students, increasing their capacity to remember something to long term, which could be translated in a more appealing science (Rowcliffe,2004). In addition,   write stories… “helps the  writer  to consolidate ideas and stimulates creativity,  fostering  the development  of  new  hypothesis  and  the  formulation  of new challenges”… (Mantas, 2016)

People loves stories, we are familiarized with them (use to bring us good memories) open the world of the storytellers for us, creates feelings, intensify emotions, allow us discover what are storyteller’s engagements and this is the reason why teachers can use that to get a more meaningful teaching approach (Martin, et al.,2016)

A story could be defined as… “a narrative unit that can fix the affective meaning of the elements that compose it…orienting our feelings about their contents” …(Peterat and Egan, 1988). Storytelling and science have things in common, both need a storyteller (observer) a story (conection of facts by cause-effect analysis about the most important observations, facilitating their incorporation inside a context) and an ending (results and conclussion).

Because has been demonstrated the conection between stories and feelings they open minds to reasoning in easily way (allow interiorize facts, interpret them, not only repeat some formula to make science), improve discussion and the post of hypothesis (Relation between characters in a context and a natural curiosity to discover what will happen after? (Windschitl, et al., 2008)

Good stories allow us connect things and discover step by step what is going to happen in the future (scene to scene) that is interesting to our memory, it is important to remember that the best movies or tv programs, usually are those ones where mistery is not solved at once.  Stories are not just facts, they are also creation, inspiration and fun. Remember that some memories keep in our mind for more time depending how exciting they are. Stories are related with more important things for us, this is why probably stories guides to useful observations, first step of scientific method. Tell stories help us to share ideas and open the possibility to enrich stories of others (Lewis, 2004)

Stories, make information attractive. Stories make learning enjoyable, creating fun and a deep conection with mind (Negrete and Lartigue, 2004) At this sense (Ritchie, et al., 2008), suggest simple steps to create good stories based on science facts:

  • List facts related to the theme of importance, for example: What are the facts related with El Niño in the world. What happen wiith mosquitoes’ population on a climate change context? To get inspiration could be useful read a blog, watch a documental, ask scientist.
  • Define the protagonist of the story (Characters). Here, sometimes result interesting the use of anthropomorphic characters (fishes, birds, plants), it helps to discover the personal engagement of students, encourages emotional response to motivate student’s participation, this is a good mean to learning happen.
  • Define the Scenary: Where does your story happen? Choose a place in the world and put it on the map.
  • Connect characters with listed facts in the scenary (Body of story):  How characters are envolved in them? How is the relation of characters with facts listed in the first point? Here the use of metaphors is interesting, because they increase the meaningful of things due to the addition of a new learning process. Metaphors act as comparative mechanism that link different types of information to categorize, associate or inferring, involve attribute comparisons, situational transpositions, highlight some special things of data and help to discorver what is inside students (Bloom 1992).
  • Review the story: contrast your story with some facts. This step increases the consttuctivism and metacognition.

With stories, students include observations, experiences, emotions, interpete information and link feelings and action, increasing the learning significance.  In addition, all these elements, together, located on a map offer to students the unique opportunity to visualize a local context in a worldwide frame.


Bloom, J. W. 1992. “The Development of Scientific Knowledge in Elementary School Children : A Context of Meaning Perspective.” Science Education 76(4): 399–413.

Hong, J. E. 2014. “Promoting Teacher Adoption of GIS Using Teacher-Centered and Teacher-Friendly Design.” Journal of Geography 113(4): 139–50. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84899902916&partnerID=tZOtx3y1.

Kerski, J. J. 2015. “Geo-Awareness , Geo-Enablement , Geotechnologies , Citizen Science , and Storytelling : Geography on the World Stage.” Esri 1: 14–26.

Lewis, P. J. 2004. “Trying to Teach Well: A Story of Small Discoveries.” Teaching and Teacher Education 20(3): 231–42.

Mantas V. M. 2016.  GLOBE ENSO Student Research Campaign,  the StoryMaps  (Power point presentation). Recovery from https://www.globe.gov/documents/16257217/21024275/Webinar+%23II-4+-+StoryMaps/6876cfff-b4bc-4d1b-a934-d952806b2735

Martin, K., E. Miller, and E. Miller. 2016. “Language Arts,.” 65(3): 255–59.

Negrete, A, and C.Lartigue. 2004. “Learning from Education to Communicate Science as a Good Story.” Endeavour 28(3): 120–24.

Nesbitt, J. 2016. “El Niño and Second-Millennium BC Monument Building at Huaca Cortada (Moche Valley, Peru).” Antiquity 90(351): 638–53. http://www.journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0003598X16000703.

Peterat, L., and K. Egan. 1988. “Teaching as Story Telling.” Canadian Journal of Education / Revue canadienne de l’éducation 13(3): 452. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1494927?origin=crossref.

Ritchie, S., D. Rigano, and A. Duane. 2008. “Writing an Ecological Mystery in Class: Merging Genres and Learning Science.” International Journal of Science Education 30(2): 143–66. http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/09500690601161783.

Rowcliffe, S. 2004. "Storytelling in Science" School Science Review, September 2004, 86(314)

Windschitl, M., J. Thompson, and M. Braaten. 2008. “Beyond the Scientific Method: Model-Based Inquiry as a New Paradigm of Preference for School Science Investigations.” Science Education 92(5): 941–67.

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Claudia, this is a wonderful summary. Sometimes in science we get too fixated on the facts. I remember as a student I loved the story that science would tell- how one Earth science event would impact another part of the system- and how that affected another. This is a worthwhile reminder of how to engage students - and get the to tell their own stories!

Publié le 23/02/17 17:30.

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Thank you very much Russane, that is true! facts touch personal lifes and we can start to develop science since people perspective and to support them, at the same time.

Publié le 15/05/17 14:04 en réponse à Russanne Low.

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