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Why We Tell Stories

Below are five questions that guide our semester together and I’d like you to take a stab at answering them right now in the comments before you move on to the next step of this module.

Near a dessert cliff in the shade a man tells a dramatic story to a group of seated people wearing kaftans and fezes. Painting
“The Storyteller” Jules Taupin (1863-1932), Courtesy of @WikiCommons

1. Why do we tell stories?

2. How do we perform a story?

3. How do stories build on past stories?

4. How is it different when a story is performed live? What changes about storytelling depending on the medium used to tell the story (for example, a book, a television series, a movie, a poem, a song, etc.)?

5. How do children engage with stories? Is it different than how adults do?

Put your answer below and take a look and respond to other’s thoughts before going on.

20 thoughts on “Why We Tell Stories

  1. 1. We tell stories to knowledge, inform and entertain people.
    2. We can perform a story by speaking out loud, creating a video/movie, using physical movements (voice tone, gestures).
    3. Stories build on past stories as we continue to create new ideas and opinions about a specific idea.
    4. A story is different when it’s performed live because you can correspond to it as how you might feel about it or think of what you have heard and learned. Eye-to-eye contact changes when using other storytelling sources like a television, a movie, a poem and etc.)
    5. Children engage with stories when they give their opinion or idea about what’s being told to them. They can also perform something they might find interesting from storytelling. Adult wise we can disagree/ agree with what’s being told or just might not find it interesting and move on to something else.

  2. 1. We tell stories to make sense of our lives. Telling stories is a way to share our knowledge with others, solve problems, and exchange emotions and facts.
    2. We perform a story by using movements, dramatic pauses, analogies, and keeping eye contact.
    3. We read old stories to connect with the past. Reading stories from the past allows us to create new ideas and to expand our perspective.
    4. Drama is a way of presenting the story in live. Drama provides a setting where the characters are present and demonstrates the story naturally. Furthermore, a play carries more influence, and mainly, it motivates the audiences easily.
    5. We can keep children engaged in reading by using different voices, asking questions during the story to help increase understanding and evoke emotion and reflective inquiry. Adults engage with stories by using narratives, knowledge, or personal experiences to make the content more understandable.

  3. 1. Telling stories is a way to communicate with others, to inform and delight.
    2. We perform a story by using words, actions such as body movements, and images.
    3. Stories build in past stories as it would bring thoughts, emotions, and influence. And then pass it on to others.
    4. It may give stronger impacts when a story is performed live because several senses are used at the same time as the audience could receive the performer’s emotions and feelings directly. Compare to a live storytelling performance, reading a book is a very personal and intimate experience of the reader with the author. This also could make a significant impression on stories at different levels from live performance.
    5. Children engage with stories when it’s simply appearing fun, exciting, funny, and weird. Adults tend to engage with stories more when they find them technically performed well.

  4. 1. We tell stories because people are social in nature (generally) and we love to share our experiences, thoughts, and ideas with others!

    2. We perform stories through learned social conventions that are picked up from listening to others tell stories. Depending on the type of story being told and who the audience is we will use different types of emphasis, body language, and vocabulary.

    3. Stories build upon past stories by increasing the contextual knowledge a person has about the world at large, or about a specific topic, and increases a person’s repertoire of storytelling methods.

    4. When a story is performed live it can have an electric and magical feeling about it. You are also given an insight into what the storyteller thinks is important based on how they tell the story and what they highlight while telling it. Storytelling will change based on the limitations of the medium being used. Books can use rich vocabulary and interesting writing styles to convey their message but are static in their text or images, tv and movies have the benefit of being a visual medium but the story being told is constrained by what visuals the producers are able to make, and songs are able to use melody and sound to pull in an audience and does not have to explicitly tell a story at all.

    5. Children engage with stories that interest them! If a story, or how the reader is telling it, is interesting to the child then they will want to listen. Adults also listen to stories that are interesting and engaging to them, but we also consume content for other reasons as well. We may read a book or watch a video for educational purposes or we may do it because it is popular at the time and we want to understand the references our friends are making. I think that there is more nuance in why an adult may consume media/a story than why a child will.

  5. 1. We tell stories to entertain, share experiences, and connect with one another.
    2. We perform stories by engaging the audience, creating a setting, and be creative with body language, vocal tones, and being creative.
    3. Stories are built on past stories to create new influences, ideas, and relative connections to people.
    4. When a story is performed live, it’s more engaging and personal. Reading a story allows you to make your own interpretation, when you watch a play or listen to someone telling you a story it allows you to understand each emotion and how they act in certain situations.
    5. Children engage with stories in a very imaginary outlook, either to find a story really fun or funny. Unlike adults, we think of things in a very technical way, how it relates, how well the acting is, and the way we can relate to. Adults are also selective with what content they consume and children are more open to different stories.

  6. 1-telling a story is a way to share human experience, story is a relation between the teller and listener.
    2-we perform a story by using movements and creating a video or drawing
    3-we create story based in our personality or emotion.
    4-when a story is performed live the story make more sense, the audience could receive emotions of the actor,storytelling is a powerful way to rich your vocabulary using book, movie.
    5-Children engage with stories by set up they listening skills and communication , children raise concentration and memory ,nowadays the majority of Adults in engage with stories by media or audiobook.

  7. 1. Stories tell us about our past, teach us experiences, give us something to pass down.

    2. We perform stories by using body language and tone.

    3. We continue to add onto the information we already have.

    4. When a story is performed live we feel the energy in the room. The energy you receive from the narrator is different based on where you both are located. it’s easier to feel what someone is reading or telling you by the manner in which they perform it especially if they are right in front of you.

    5. I think it depends on the story. You have to know your audience. Reading to children and adults isn’t that much of a difference just make sure they can feel and see what you do keep their attention.

  8. 1. We tell stories to share experiences, form connections with one another and to entertain.

    2. We can perform a story though reading, acting, using props or even our body movements.

    3. Stories build on past stories by adding our own renditions to them. The way we perform them and adding our own twits to them.

    4. When a story is performed live you get to see and understand the emotion more. it helps set a tone and build the story up more as we watch it live.

    5. Children engage with stories with imagination. While most adults just read to understand what is written.

  9. 1. We tell stories to entertain, build connections and pass down knowledge, beliefs and traditions. Many people use stories as a form of communication as well.

    2. Stories may be performed in multiple different ways. From films and movies to live action plays and theatre. Stories may come in the form of writings, songs and even rituals/ traditions. Children perform stories sometimes without even realizing it, they use them in imaginative play and social play sometimes without knowing they are doing so.

    3. Present stories all come from somewhere. Whether it was an idea that branched off of another idea or a tradition passed down within cultures and changed just a little bit. “new” stories are always rooted back to an original story. It also depends on how we interrpurt the stories we once heard. I may hear a story differently then how you hear it and with that comes my own little version of story telling when I go to tell someone else the story. It’s like a big game of telephone, The story you are told all comes down to how the person before you received and processed the information and told you.

    4. When stories are performed there are many factors that should be taken into consideration. Every person will have their own feelings and interpretations of stories they have heard. So when it comes to performing these stories everyone will have their own unique reaction and styles. Think about it, if you give 5 different artists the same task to draw an apple you can either end up with 5 of the same picture or 5 completely different pictures depending on how that person interperted the instructions given to them. I may read about a character and see them as a villain in the end while you may think that character is the best part of the story and a hero in your eyes. Therefore depending on which one of us holding the performance, performs will depend on the side of the character the audience gets to feel and experience. The way stories are performed are also a key factor in the emotions we get off of them. A book may be easier to follow along with and build an imagination around with all the details given where a poem stanza can only give you so much to open up our minds too. You may be able to connect with an emotion in a song but when the same emotion is acted out in a play, show or writing it gives off a completely different message.

    5. Children engage with stories in a much more positive and open minded way then adults do. Children don’t have the same life experiences as adults and are therefor a lot more open minded to learning new things. They hold their imaginations in their hands and will use it for just about everything where as adults we tend to side more with reality and past experiences to interpret how we engage with stories. Children are much more eager to participate in a story telling and have much more creative freedom when it comes to imaginative stories. They also have much more of an innocent take on stories then us adults have. They will hear a story and create stories that all have happy endings and won’t make them upset where adults have more experience in life and with dangers and evils and can add those things into a story making it scary and unlikable.

  10. 1. We tell stories to entertain others, to express emotions and to pass on information.

    2. We perform a story through our movement and tone. Our body language should be engaging rather than monotone. Stories can also be performed using objects such as props or puppets.

    3. Stories build on past stories through add ons. When a story is passed from generation to generation, new things get added and different versions of the same stories can form.

    4. When a story is performed live, it can help us understand the characters emotions better. For example, in a book, the tone may be perceived differently whereas when it is being performed, we can get a different sense of the story through facial expressions.

    5. Children usually engage with stories through the pictures and things that are interesting to them and they can engage with. They like fun stories that are entertaining and can encourage imagination. For example, depending on who is reading the story the children may be more inclined to pay attention. Adults however, engage with stories that they find meaningful or educational. While some adults may also read for entertainment, they also read to find their own perspective on the stories.

  11. 1- We tell stories to pass down information form one person to another. To communicate with others and also as a form of entertainment.
    2- We perform a story through the way we speak and move. For example you can tell if a person is mad by the tone of their voice and how they move their body. Also we can use a play as an example when a person act out being mad or sad by using the tone of their voice and how they move their body.
    3-stories build on past stories because people like to add on. Also people perceive things differently than others, so if one person tells another person a story they will take all of the information that they remember and tell another person and add their little twist to the story.
    4-When a story is performed live it’s different because the person performing can perceive the character in the book differently. Also the author of the book can picture the character in the book differently than the actor who is perform the play.
    5-Children engage with stories by picturing them in their head. I believe that it isn’t different from how an adult would engage in a story because everyone pictures stories in their head.

  12. 1. Storytelling is utilized as a way of entertainment for all ages.

    2. You perform a story by using body movements, such as hand motions, and adjusting your tone and speed to engage the listener.

    3. Stories build on past stories by individuals adding in details or lines of specifics that extend the story and may change it slightly.

    4. When a story is performed live, added effects are included by the person who is reading it and it gives the story life as they may show emotions, tones, sounds, movements, etc. Depending on the medium that is used, the listener may interpret the story differently each time a different medium is used. For example, you may have one interpretation or idea of a story when you hear the book. But, when you see a movie that may be based on the same story idea, your interpretation may adjust.

    5. When children engage with stories they prefer to look at something with visuals to understand, whereas adults may engage in a story based on its theme genre.

  13. [1] Storytelling is a uniquely human attribute. It is an imaginative process between the composer and the responder that invites us, as the audience to engage fully with the experience of others. stories have been shared in all cultures as a means of education, history, and to tell us of the value of our culture.
    [2] You can perform a story in many ways depending on the audience if you are reading to a child you can use different voices. This will engage them more and they won’t get bored using different voices and sound can be captivating for them.
    [3] The way you build a story base on past stories can be using the same characters but, changing the plot and changing the ending. This can be good for some audiences or can also backfire because some audiences like the story just the way it is.
    [4] The way a story can change when is perform live can that there was something you missed when you was reading it. For example when I went to see the The Lion King I got a better perspective of the story that children can have a better understanding about death and what it mean to do person who lost a love one.
    [5] The way children engage with stories is the love the fantasy aspect of it for examples when you read a princess story to little girls they all think themself as pricess but some adult feel foolish to think that way.

  14. 1. We tell stories in order to engage with others by sharing from our creative imagination as well as to spread knowledge.
    2. We perform a story by speaking loudly and using hand gestures to describe the story in detail, we can also perform it into a movie, show, play, short video, game, etc.
    3. Stories build into past stories because they take inspiration and ideas from it to build on.
    4. It’s different when a story is performed live because the characters create a bond with the audience by having eye contact and just by being there physically unlike a movie or tv show. The audience gets to feel emotion by the present sound of the charters in the play.
    5. Children engage with stories by relating to them when it’s fun and exciting. Adults on the other hand might not be so interested in stories especially if they disagree with them.

  15. 1. I believe we tell stories so others can experience things that aren’t possible in the real world or that have already happened.

    2. We preform it to have a visual analysis of the story, there are also a lot of people that can’t imagine pictures when they’re reading and things like plays, tv shows and movies help those to still experience such stories

    3. I think stories build on throughout the years when people either don’t like the ending or just simply have an alternative one that they believe others will enjoy just as much as them, I love imaging alternate endings to may favorite stories the “what if” question is always around.

    4. The director or storyteller is usually the difference when stories are preformed live like I stated above, some people don’t like the original ending or would rather put a spin on it. Also actors have different styles which affect the way the story is told

    5. I think children have an active imagination but they also don’t have a lot of experience yet with how the world is or how different personalities can lead to different consequences, so when a child is read to or reads a story it should be more animated otherwise they might not be easily entertained by the story even if its a great one

  16. 1) We tell stories to educate ourselves yet others about events that we may have not known about before. Also, stories can benefit and improve our emotional intelligence since story telling makes us engage and connect with one another in a more profound way.
    2) To perform a story, many people would read a book with great expression. There are also people who perform a story in a manner of acting and/or music. For example broadway shows are usually based on stories/books that people perform live (where you can see the “words” come to life).
    3) Reading or telling old stories help us get a feel of what it was like in that moment. Within that timeframe, we can connect and get our own perspectives on it and possibly compare and contrast how it was then than from present time. Most of these stories may often come from your parents or grandparents.
    4) It is very different when a story is performed live because the reader will use different expressions verbally and physically that can relate to the actual text. As I said in my previous answer, broadway shows are a great example. A movie is a great example as well. As for music, it plays a big role in a song. The rhythm of the song has to make sense with the lyrics which is an example of expression.
    5) Children and adults engage in stories differently. Children often pay attention to a smaller points of the story like the characters, colors of the pictures in the book or things that interest them whilst adults can expand on the story and give their own perspective on it while going more in depth and asking themselves, what the story REALLY means.

  17. 1. We tell stories to communicate, socialize, entertain and share information with each other.
    2. We perform a story with our body language (mannerisms, gestures) and emphasizing on certain words. Our tone shifts and we want to interact with the audience in a way that keeps them engaged.
    3. Stories build on past stories with the input of other people which may include their experiences. Our experiences differ and the way such can be added onto a story is what makes it different/ unique. Other ways stories may build onto past stories is the influence of other ideas, which relate to the topic of the story.
    4. It is different when a story is performed live because it is more of a performative way of presenting the story. For example, if someone is reading a book to someone else, it provides a different perspective and different tone compared to how you may have read it alone. Physical expressions and performative behavior can cause more of an interest and more engagement to the story being told.
    5. I think that the way children engage with stories is very different than how adults do. I think that this is because children tend to be more imaginative and they also want to see something which stands out the eye. For example, bright colors, large animations etc… When we look at books, we can see that there is usually a big difference in the way stories are presented for children’s books, compared higher level, adult books. Children are more entertained and engaged with pictures/ illustrations, rather than words alone.

  18. 1.- We can say stories for entertainment, at the same time, we can learn from them about our own culture. We can learn about the past of our own history, about our ancestors. Throughout stories, we can transport ourselves to a world of fantasy.
    2.- We can perform a story, by changing the tone of our voices. Also, can use gestures and emotion while we are narrating a story.
    3.- Stories are a mixture of past, present, and some imagination. Many old stories are inspiring. Sometimes we might don’t like some events in the play, so we can do some adaptation and transform into a new story.
    4.- Usually, when stories are performed in life, the characters take away part of the imagination. What I mean is, that you don’t have to imagine them, they are already created for you. However, for those who are visual learners like I am, the performance can help to understand better a story.
    Nevertheless, depending on the medium and the receptor the story can change. For example, in a live performance, things are more tangible, visual. The connection is more interpersonal, while with a book, the connection is between the reader and the book.
    5.-I think children engage easier with stories because they are full of imagination. Meanwhile, adults hardly concentrate due to worries, problems and that limit their imagination.

  19. 1) We tell stories for multiple reasons one of them is to engage with someone and connect with others.

    2)There are a lot of different ways to perform stories, you can perform stories through expressions, music, and acting. When performing a story in front of kids you can use puppets, change voices, and show expressions that will make the child a lot more interested in the book.

    3)We create a story based on our emotions and experiences.

    4)when your performing a story live you show a lot more emotions and expression make your story a thousand times better and you tend to create your own little bubble and vision your story coming live in front of you.

    5)when telling children stories they tend to engage in it a lot differently than adults because they will connect the story to themselves and take it in a very positive way however when you’re telling an adult a story they might have their own take on it and agree/disagree with something where a child won’t do.

  20. 1. Why do we tell stories?
    We tell stories to keep people entertained. we also tell stories to pass things on or to pass on to others as well as a way to rant and tell people about our lives.

    2. How do we perform a story?
    expression, music, actions, dancing.

    3. How do stories build on past stories?
    we build on past stories based on experience.

    4. How is it different when a story is performed live? What changes about storytelling depending on the medium used to tell the story (for example, a book, a television series, a movie, a poem, a song, etc.)?
    it shows us more emotion and more energy. it becomes easier to understand.

    5. How do children engage with stories? Is it different than how adults do?
    children take on what they hear with excitement while adults are more critical and think logical.

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