Power of Storytelling Prompts & Information on how to use it as a teaching tool.
From the very beginnings of human life on Earth, people have used stories to share with one another and to preserve their heritage. True stories and fictional stories alike all have their place in our world—because regardless of their veracity, a story can be an incredible tool to educate, to entertain, and to inspire.
However, the true power of storytelling is this: stories are accessible to everyone. Stories can transcend cultures, age barriers, and time itself to impart lessons to new audiences. A well-crafted narrative can stand the test of time and may truly have an impact on our lives.
Your students have likely already learned many traditional stories in their history lessons and social studies classes—but have they learned about the culture and power of storytelling itself?
The Power of Storytelling: Put Learning in Action
We believe kids learn best about the profound ways that stories can impact our lives by telling and sharing their own experiences. Use the engaging new writing prompts below to help your students see the powerful role that storytelling can play in their lives.
24 New Journal Prompts to Promote the Power of Storytelling
- Tell the story of the first time you learned to ride a bicycle. Who taught you? What did the bike look like? How many times did you fall down?
- Tell the story of your favorite family tradition. Who started the tradition? How old were you when you learned about it? How has it evolved over the years?
- Tell the story of your most recent visit to the dentist. Were you nervous? Were the tools they used noisy? Was the dentist friendly and funny or quiet and serious? How did that make you feel?
- Tell the story of the first time you met your best friend. Where were you when you met? How did you start talking to one another? In what ways is your relationship still similar today?
- Tell the story of a time when you did something that made you feel really proud. Why was this accomplishment so important to you?
- Tell the story of a time when someone else defied your expectations. What had you expected the other person to do—and what did they do instead? Why do you think they did the opposite of what you’d expected? What was your reaction like?
- Tell the story of a trip you once took with your family. Where did you go? What was it like seeing a new place? How did you feel upon your return?
- Tell the story of a time when you won something (a competition, a board game, a sweepstakes, etc). What did you win? How did you feel when you won? What did you do to celebrate?
- Tell the story of a scar you have (either a physical scar or even an emotional scar). How did you get it? How often do you think of it?
- Tell the story of your earliest memory. Is it a clear picture in your head, or are the edges a little blurred? Be sure to include details that illustrate why this particular memory is so prominent in your mind.
- Tell the story of a time when you needed help and were afraid to ask for it. Did you feel embarrassed or like you might get in trouble if you asked for help? How did you resolve the situation?
- Tell the story of your last birthday. How old were you? Did you have a party with friends or family? Did you have a special cake or get a present you had really wanted?
- Tell the story of how your parents met. How old were they? What were their first impressions of one another?
- Tell the story of the first time you ate your now favorite food. What did you think of it? Did you ask for seconds? How often do you eat that food today?
- Tell the story of a time when you tasted something terrible. Did you spit it out or eat it anyway, perhaps to be polite? Did your parents make you finish it?
- Tell the story of your first crush. How old were you? What did you like about the other person? Did you keep your crush a secret or tell other people about it?
- Tell the story of a time when you completed a school assignment that you’d had a lot of trouble with. How did you feel when it was done? Did you get a good grade? What did you learn?
- Tell the story of the most dramatic thing that ever happened to you. What made this event so out of the ordinary? Was it something you were able to see coming or a total surprise? How did you feel when it was all over?
- Tell the story of a favorite memory with your grandparents. What did you do together that day?
- Tell the story of how you discovered your favorite hobby. Did you like it right away? How has your interest in it changed over time?
- Tell the story of an interesting or scary dream you once had. What happened in the dream? Was it realistic or fantastical? How did you feel when you woke up?
- Tell the story of a time when you were jealous of someone else. What did the other person have that you wished you did? Did you act in any way on your jealousy or keep it to yourself? Did you ever get over the jealousy?
- Tell the story of a time when you learned you were wrong about something you had thought before. What happened? How did you react when you were corrected?
- Tell the story of you. Who are you and where were you born? What makes you unique? What is your family like? What do you want to do in the future?
As they begin crafting their own narratives, be sure to also check out our article on writing about storytelling to promote further reflection!
Teaching Tool: Why Students Should Learn About the Power of Storytelling
Throughout history, storytelling has formed the identities of cultures around the world. People use stories to:
- understand the world and where they came from,
- communicate lessons and experiences to their children,
- preserve culture and recall historical events,
- and connect with others in their communities.
From the earliest creation stories to an anecdote about summer vacation shared with a friend, we all tell stories to share and make sense of our experiences. By listening to the stories that another person chooses to share, we can also learn a great deal about his or her choices, motivations, and desires. The stories that people tell (and the ways in which they tell them) are hugely revealing indicators of everything from their values to their insecurities to their dreams.
Instead of simply learning details from history books and the tall tales passed down in literature class, it’s important for students to understand that stories themselves have inherent value no matter where they come from—particularly when they are repeated or shared with new people in the future.
People have a natural desire to leave legacies behind them, and every person has a unique story to tell. When we choose to open up and share our stories and our lives (and ultimately ourselves) with others—that is the true power of storytelling in action.
Related Links & Resources
- Story Ideas Generator
- 51 Story Starter Sentences
- The Power of Storytelling Activities in the Classroom
Until next time, write on…
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