Having used an innovative way to introduce your students to a new topic, you will have seen how much more interest and animation was shown by them. You may have noticed too how many more of them participated in the lesson. Stories appeal to all students, regardless of their ability, and provide real contexts for learning that help many students who find theory difficult without the link to their everyday life.
The advantages and impact of using such creative and stimulating means of introducing a topic such as storytelling are that they:
- arouse students’ attention and sustain it through the lesson
- motivate learning through new explorations and investigations
- build positive feelings towards teacher and school
- cater for individual sensory preferences to facilitate learning
- promote learning by actively involving students
- develop students’ empathy for the environment
- provide educational entertainment
- develop interpersonal relationships between the teacher and students.
The major challenge for a teacher when studying the environment with a class is to build on the students’ own knowledge of the natural world and to help them to understand and use that knowledge. This unit has introduced you to ways to draw out what your students already know about their local environment. Matching your choice of strategy(ies) to your students’ interests and stage of development will contribute much to their enthusiasm for environmental science and the topic you are studying. By encouraging such engagement you can trigger motivation, which can lead to learning experiences that your students will never forget.