Storytelling - An Effective Teaching Aid!

Rashmi Furtado

A teaching aid is the material used by teachers to supplement classroom instruction or to stimulate the interest of the students. Teaching aids can be both tangible and intangible. As a learning tool, storytelling can encourage students to explore their unique expressiveness and enhance a student's ability to communicate thoughts and understand concepts in a much easier and effective manner.

Storytelling Simplifies complex concepts
Let's assume the objective is to explain the concept of compounding. A teacher need not necessarily bring several Lego blocks to the class to explain the concept of compounding better. Instead, using a story like that of ' The Persian King and the Peasant' could serve the purpose.  
Once a Persian King played a game of Chess with a peasant. Being extremely confident about the formal education and experience that he had, the King expected to win the game. He told the peasant he could ask for anything he wanted if he won. Things didn't turn out the way the King expected and the peasant won the game. The King now thought that the peasant would demand for half of his kingdom or his daughter's hand in marriage. Instead the peasant said, "Your majesty, I want nothing more than rice. Give me one grain of rice for the first square of the chessboard, two grains for the next square, four for the next, eight for the next and so on for all 64 squares, with each square having double the number of grains as the square before." 
Not understanding what the peasant had asked for, the King readily agreed. Everything was fine in the beginning. But soon the ministers came to the King, informing him there was not enough rice in the world to fulfill the peasant's demand. They explained to the King that the number of grains started small 1, 2 ,4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048,  4096, 8192, 16384, 32768, 65536, 131072, 262144, 524288, 1048576, and so on but by the time they reached 64th square they had 18.5 quintillion grains!
This is a story which explains the concept of compounding in a simple manner. Not only will the story help explain the concept, it also helps build the levels of interest in the students.
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