Category Archives: k-12 education

The Power of Storytelling

Do you sometimes think your stories don’t make a difference? Think again.

Storytelling has power. As teachers and writers, we can harness that power and use our storytelling for the good of all our listeners.

In an engaging TED talk, Princeton neuroscientist Uri  Hasson shows us what actually happens inside our brains when we are engaged in a story. That story might be a video, a book, or a memory your grandmother is sharing with you. It’s amazing to see how, across a wide spectrum, people’s brain patterns synced when presented with the same story. Even more amazing to me was how one small sentence could change the entire message and brain patterns of the listeners.


This has two implications for me:

  1. As a writer, I want to convey meaning to my readers/listeners that will improve their lives in some way. Perhaps it will help them to reach understanding of something in themselves, or open up a window into a new facet of their lives. Or perhaps they just need some downtime to relax. Words and communication have the power to connect us.
  2. As a teacher, one tiny sentence can change the entire meaning of a lesson I am giving. I’m always aware that what I say can have a deep impact on my little learners. This TED talk reemphasized that for me, and reminded me to always be careful of what I say to my students. I want them to love learning. I want them to be happy in my classroom. I want them to think they are geniuses.

This TED talk has been viewed over 1.5 million times in just under a year. It’s a message for our times, especially in our current political climate. Uri Hasson calls this neural entrainment. You can click the link and read the research, if you’re so inclined.

I hope you enjoy the presentation and hopefully take something away from it. I know I did.