European-Reading-Network - Vienna

For Teachers – Methodological Tools

CST Modell
Three Ways оf Collaborative Storytelling
Free narration and after narration impulses

(European-Reading-Network – Vienna)

1. Free narration

1.1. Ideas (topics) within the framework of curricula, teaching principles (TP)* or current events

* TP are interdisciplinary thematic emphases of socio-political concerns (e.g. intercultural education, gender equality, political education...)

1.1.1. Students collect ideas (topics) according to the brainstorming method:

The practical quick guide to successful brainstorming

1.1.2. One or two valuation run

Each student chooses two suggestions that he/she likes best.

The selection is recorded according to the points.

Only one proposal may be selected.

The remaining ideas (topics) are available for the subsequent group work.

2. Telling stories according to topics given by the teacher

2.1. Topics are presented to the class (flipchart, OH-projector, blackboard...)


Mister Springtime drives out the winter...The snowman and the ice princess...Veronika becomes a ski racer...Lost in the castle...Caught in the castle...The frog and the fly...The cloud zoo...The magic harp...The ghost in the apple tree

2.2. Selection of topics such as 1.1.1. and 1.1.2.

3. Telling stories after different impulses

E.g. pictures, photos, comics, picture stories, picture books, texts (headlines, story beginnings, conclusions), hand puppets, video animations...

4. Form narrative groups

4.1. 5-6 pupils form a group
From this group a moderator (possibly a secretary) and a recording technician will be chosen. The teacher logs the composition of the group and ensures that each student will perform the above functions over and over again.

4.2. Recording mode
Written (blackboard, whiteboard, overhead transparency, PC...) Auditive (tape, dictaphone, PC with microphone and voice recording software, video camera, smartphone...)

5. Working out stories in groups

5.1. Discussing content (course of action)

5.2. Developing a story in sentences; incorporating direct speeches...
For example, according to a proven storytelling scheme: the story of a hero who, far from the place and time of narration, was confronted with a surprising experience or made an extraordinary plan. This raises the question of how he deals with it and what the result will be.

5.3. Diverse forms (voice variation, use of sounds, music, distributing roles such as narrator, male and female persons, animals...)

6. Presentation of the story to the other groups

Receive feedback and possibly change the recording on the basis of the feedback.

7. Publication of the stories

In order to expand the number of recipients of the stories beyond the classroom, it is advisable to make the stories accessible to a wider public. In this way, the work of the students becomes more important than that of the teacher alone, who includes it in his assessment. In addition, the level of feedback – also from the non-school sector – is increasing. This encourages motivation for further projects.

Some Opportunities for publication:

Written products:
Wall newspapers, school newspapers, exchange with other schools via e-mail, creation of a story-book...

Orally told products:
Play audio recordings for other classes, show videos at parents' evenings, school parties..., exchange videos during video conferences with other school classes, upload videos to the school's website...


Evaluation of the Activities

(Edgar Grubich, European-Reading-Network – Vienna)

Comments on the evaluation

Evaluation in the traditional school sector is similar to this:

This method cannot work in the Collaborative Storytelling space.

Stories that are created through collaborative storytelling are very complex “achievements”. They are neither “wrong” nor “right”. They can be assessed as more or less elaborate, detailed, with direct speech...

The story is created by “speaking (communicating) with each other”. This happens on two levels – the content level and the relationship or behaviour level.

The motto of the project “Eurochange” – Children inspiring children – already clearly indicates that the relationship or behaviour level is of great importance.

An evaluation could therefore take place at this level. E.G:

1. Individual assessment of the pupils by means of questionnaires (Fig. 1)

2. Observation of behaviour

Figure 1

  1. I like to work in my group.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5

  3. Everyone listened to me very carefully.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5

  5. Everybody let me finish.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5

  7. I understood everything that was said.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5

  9. My opinion was accepted.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5

  11. I like to help when someone doesn't understand something.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5

  13. If we do not agree, we discuss that with each other.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5

  15. The teacher lets us work alone in the group.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5

  17. The teacher helps us when we ask him for advice.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5

  19. We are well equipped with technical equipment.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5

  21. I enjoy storytelling.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5

Figure 2

For younger students you can use smilies instead of numbers: