In a school where I was doing some training, I found this quote on a classroom wall: “Be the hero in your own story.” I love the concept. In recent years the art of story telling has been incorporated into business and many other mediums where we might not expect to find it.
What if we helped kids recognize that their life is a story that they are writing every moment of everyday?
Would it make a difference as they make decisions and choices on a regular basis?
Since elementary school is the age where we learn about writing stories with a beginning, middle and end, it seems like a perfect time to also teach students to consider their life as a story telling opportunity as well.
Here are some common characteristics of writing a fictional story and a life story:
- There is a main character or a hero- This is the student.
- There is a problem- This is the challenge that they face.
- There is tension- This is the difference or gap between how things are now and how they want things to be in the future.
- There are possible solutions- These are the strategies, the tactics that they try to solve the problem.
- There is closure- This is the solution or resolution of the problem.
Helping students see their life as a story is useful in several ways:
- It gives them ownership of their life- It places them clearly at cause in their life rather than at effect. It sets them up as problem solvers not just someone who is waiting for life to happen to them.
- It promotes a growth mindset- Problems in most stories, just as in real life aren’t solved immediately. In fact, it often takes many tries to solve the problem with sub plots and distractions, false starts and mistakes. Thinking of our lives in the same way gives us confidence to kept trying even when we fail.
- It gives them hero status- When kids see themselves as heroes, it helps them recognize their strengths and skill set.
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Cooperation
Wyatt wants to play Frisbee. Max wants to build a fort and Callie wants to have tea party. How do the three friends reconcile their differences? Can it be done? When Wyatt doesn’t get his way, Max’s mother suggests he be the Superhero for the day. Join Wyatt as he learns how the magic of cooperation and compromise can bring the five friends closer together.