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04 February 2013 @ 08:36 pm
 
I read a fascinating article about the brain and stories recently. This quote is my favorite: A story can put your whole brain to work. And yet, it gets better: When we tell stories to others that have really helped us shape our thinking and way of life, we can have the same effect on them too. The brains of the person telling a story and listening to it, can synchronize


You can read the entire article here: http://blog.bufferapp.com/science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-most-powerful-way-to-activate-our-brains

While I am not interested in synchronizing brains (sounds sort of like a dystopic novel, right?), what I am interested in here is how stories can shape our thought. The power of stories is something I have witnessed and continue to witness over and over and over again. I see it in the videos posted by Ed Spicer, a teacher who also knows the value of books and reading and stories (you can check them out as Ed posts to Facebook; and check out his web site: spicyreads.org). I saw the power of story as kids flocked to get books autographed this weekend at the Montgomery Book Festival. I watched kids listen to authors tell stories. I see my own kids become absorbed in an audio. Back when I was booktalking to middle school kids I saw it up close and personal. In a few days, my colleague Rosemary and I will do booktalks for the undergrads in our teacher ed program on campus. When we did this last year, we saw students riveted by THUNDERBIRDS, PRESS HERE, and HOW THEY CROAKED.

But back to stories shaping thought. Look at how WONDER and the CHOOSE KIND campaign affected thought. Think about the students in your classes and how their thinking is being affected by the stories you share. Those choices are key, aren't they? It is why you deliberate about the books you will share through read aloud, about the books you will "bless" as Donalyn Miller calls the act of talking about a book you like. Books change us in all manner of ways. That makes them powerful tools. And I think it makes it even more important to make sure we have the training, education, knowledge to use thee tools. We need to know how to read aloud, how to booktalk, how to develop a classroom collection, and so much more.

And we need to show our colleagues how to do the same.

Thanks for all the stories you share with kids. It makes a difference.
 
 
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