The Power of Storytelling: Chimamanda Adichie

Stories Convey Culture (:13-1:25)

Tell a partner about some of the cultural products, practices, and perspectives that are embedded in (or missing from) the activities and culturally authentic materials you use in your classroom.

Stories Create Expectations (1:05-2:06)

Tell a partner about a story that created expectations for you.

Single Stories Eliminate Possibilities

Tell a partner about a time when someone else interpreted you through the framework of a single story

Stories Describe, Define, & Empower People (9:29-10:50)

Tell a partner about a time when someone started the story of a group of people you know "in the wrong place"

Stories Convey Stereotypes & Shape Identity (12:57-13:25)

Give your partner a list of three bullet points that encapsulate the stories that have been most important in forming who you are and how you experience the world. OR Tell about a time when someone "flattened your experience" by viewing or interpreting you through the lens of a stereotype.

We Must Tell Multiple Stories in Order for Them to Be Complete (13:54-14:09)

Tell a partner some ways you achieve "a balance of stories" when discussing different cultures in your classroom.

Key Concepts & Principles

  • Story is a powerful framework for organizing and sharing information and experiences
  • Good stories have rich layers of meaning . . .
  • Good stories reframe our perspectives
  • Good stories move and motivate us--transforming us
  • Stories reduce cognitive load
  • Representing conceptual content assists students in internalizing it
  • Producing stories = creativity, critical thinking, and self-expression

Story Strategies

  • Circle Stories
  • Clone Stories
  • Describe & Draw
  • Flannel Panels
  • Flipbooks
  • Foldables
  • Fractured Fairy Tales
  • Graphic Prompts
  • Jigsaw
  • Microstories
  • Phraselets (Richard Ladd)
  • Pictograms
  • Pop-up Books
  • Signature Search
  • Skit Sacks
  • Smoosh Books
  • Story Squares
  • Story Starters
  • Tech-infused Options: (Audacity, cell phones, pocket video cameras)
  • Twitter Fiction



1) Select photo or right click and save this one: CrazyBaby1359713_36501746SXC.jpg[1]
2) Crop photo.
3) Place mouth.
4) Record voice:

  • My name is . . .
  • One interesting thing that happened at school this year is . . .
5) Use PREVIEW to share with a partner (you have to register first to save it).


GoAnimateNewLogo.jpg - Spanish Project





  • Fotos del espacio - Slideshow of photos of black holes, supernovas, etc., labeled in Spanish
  • ¿Vida o sida? - Slideshow about AIDS in Spanish (note, some images may not be suitable for classroom use
  • Y ahora . . . qué? - Slideshow about aging in Spanish
StorybirdLogo.gif - MFL Storybirds en Español






Stories Matter (17:36-17:55)

In what ways have stories mattered to you in your life?

Single Stories Oversimplify (18:18-18:31)

How might you use digital storytelling in your classroom to "regain a kind of paradise?"


ClubLeo.jpg - Inexpensive place to order children's books in Spanish

MoreComicsAndConversation.jpg-- One of a series of three books filled with reproducible blackline masters of humorous, wordless stories told through cartoons. Great for practicing narration in any language

35WaysToPublishStudents.jpg- Book filled with patterns for different types of cross-curricular foldables, pop-ups, and other projects
  1. ^

    Mokra. (2011, August 5). Crazy baby. Stock Xchng. Retrieved June 2, 2012, from