The tradition of oral storytelling is an art that stretches back to humankind's earliest cultures. While storytelling is often considered as a form of entertainment, it has also long been used as a teaching tool as well-- a way of engaging listeners to come to new understanding of their world through subtle means. It is my belief that stories, particularly stories with a clear tie to students' sense of place, can be more widely applied to effectively generate interest in specific scientific topics and help students to form emotional connections with the topics under discussion. The following personal narrative describes an example of my own experience in using a traditional Arapaho tale to help a group of 4th-6th girl scouts learn about the ecological role of turkey vultures.

Author/Artist Bio

I am a research associate for an Earth science non-profit and CIG certified environmental educator. Through my current enrollment in the AIP Masters program at University Miami Ohio I have been researching practices for applying inquiry based learning to education ranging from an elementary school level to adult community engagement.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Image 1.png (700 kB)
Image 1: An example of a learner’s word associations and drawing. Pre-lesson associations are on the right and post-lesson associations on the left.

Included in

Zoology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.