TALES: Teaching and Learning through Engaging Stories

Culturally responsive Teaching through Storytelling

Students playing with a prism to explore lightTALES, or Teaching And Learning through Engaging Stories, is an alternative teaching method that focuses on enhancing learning by teaching science, math, ELA, and social studies through story. A 6-week research study investigating socio-economically disadvantaged students’ responses to oral stories, that were embedded with science and engineering concepts, was conducted during an after-school tutoring program in a Title I school. The SC state science standards, which incorporated many of the dimensions of the next generation science standards, and the accompanying support documents, were used to create the stories.  These stories, along with the activities and assessments, are included below. Please note however, that storytelling is meant to be dynamic...these stories, as they are presented below, are fairly static. If you access and use them, please tweak them to fit your own storytelling methods and make sure to incorporate culturally responsive pedagogy.

In one of the coming issues of NSTA's Science and Children, we will have a write-up on what we did through TALES. The link to the article, Oral Science Stories, in Science and Children, Summer 2016 journal is http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc16_053_09_64

Stories (created by undergraduate students, Willie McCray, Megan Lee Hartley, Tristan Hawkins, Sylricka Foster, Seth Abel, and Nick Tipling and faculty, Renard Harris and Cynthia Hall):

  • Scientific Process - Plan and conduct scientific investigations to answer questions, test predictions and develop explanations: (1) formulate scientific questions and predict possible outcomes, (2) identify materials, procedures, and variables, (3) select and use appropriate tools or instruments to collect qualitative and quantitative data, and (4) record and represent data in an appropriate form.
  • Seasons - Develop and use models to describe the factors (including tile, revolution, and angle of sunlight) that result in Earth’s seasonal changes.
  • Shadows - Construct explanations of how the Sun appears to move throughout the day using observations of shadows.
  • Weather and Climate - Analyze and interpret data from observations, measurements, and weather maps to describe patterns in local weather conditions (including temperature, precipitation, wind speed/direction, relative humidity, and cloud types) and predict changes in weather over time.

Funded through a grant provided by the NASA SC Space Grant Consortium Research and Education Awards Program. Thank you!

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