Pomegranate Story Basics

Integrating Narratives in the Educational Process

A good story comes in handy at just about any time in the learning process: when explaining a new concept, illustrating a point or reinforcing/revising lesson objectives. How does one come up with an idea, expand upon it and finally narrate it as a story that is both engaging and instructive? How does one go from a chapter on germination and pollination turn into a thrilling adventure where seeds – with names based on their characteristics –  embark on an exciting ‘journey’ in a bird’s stomach before being deposited on fertile ground? The Narrative is a powerful engine for learning, particularly amongst young children. But the Story is the product of the imagination, knowledge, language and craft – each a formidable hurdle to the new storyteller. How do you conjure characters, plots and settings, evoke scene after scene to deliver a very simple but engaging tale that could involve just about anything – plants, animals, air, water or even plain simple numbers? Themes like conservation, climate change, pollution or even subjects such as grammar, geography, science and math can be explored through stories, once you’ve got the hang of it.

Pomegranate Story Basics is a structured program wherein teachers are eased into the process of imagining, ideating, creating and writing their own stories. The workshop introduces teachers to different kinds of stories using a genre-based approach; and provides them with the tools to write stories of their own on a variety of subjects. Through the course of the workshop the teachers unearth the ingredients that make for delectable stories, understand the fundamentals of plot, character, setting and analyze basic story structures before finally learning to how to combine story with subject in their own assignments.

Pomegranate Story Basics at Shishuvan School

A 12-session module conducted in 2010

Shishuvan School, Matunga, is known to nurture both, its students and its teachers. Among the teachers here the enthusiasm and openness to acquiring new teaching skills was palpable as they participated in the storymaking process, pitching in with ideas and experience to make the program a resounding success.

The Shishuvan teachers were led through a number of activities and exercises to warm up their imagination and fire up their ideas: they read and analysed noteworthy authors such as Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and Rudyard Kipling, and examined stories from Aesop’s Fables, The Panchatantra, The Just-So Stories amongst others. They also experimented with Poetry and read poems by noteworthy poets such as Ogden Nash and Roger McGough They composed their own Myths, Fables, Adventure Stories and Poems. Their final assignment was to form teams and assemble their own lessons on a topic of their choice – using narratives, songs, props and anything else they could think of to make the lesson a memorable experience.