The Scottish Storyline®Method

Great Articles about the Storyline Method . . . . . .

    How the Storyline Method came to be

    Integrating Curriculum

    The Topic Web and the Storyline Method

    Answers to Questions about the Storyline Method 

    Why the Storyline Method Makes Sense

    It’s the Principle of the Thing

    Dragons vs. Elephants

Answers to Questions About the Storyline Method                     << Previous | Next >>

"The child must be viewed as active at all levels -- as purposer, an investigator, a constructor of his own knowledge." -Evelyn Weber

What is the Methodology?

The Storyline Method is based on the theory that knowledge is complex and many layered, that learning is guided by one's prior knowledge and experience, and that learners construct their own meaning through action and experience. The Storyline unit creates a context for learning with the active involvement of the child. It provides tasks which arise from the context which the child sees as significant and meaningful within it. The Storyline topic gives the child opportunities to develop understanding and skills with the support of the context.

The critical elements of a Storyline unit are:

  1. Setting the scene in a particular time and place

  2. People and or animals

  3. A way of life to investigate

  4. Real problems to be solved

For example, with a Civil War theme, some students go off to war while others stay behind on the farm and worry about loved ones in the battles of Bull Run and Gettysburg. Teaching and learning about history, literature, science, art, music, math, etc. arise from this context. Carefully planned episodes engage students in actual practice of those basic skills necessary for survival within the context of the Storyline unit. A process of activity and reflection generated from the Storyline not only motivates pupils to extend those skills but it also makes obvious the necessity to refine them for life after school.

The development of the Storyline unit by the teachers and students is guided by the following features:

  1. 1.The topic line is a logical progression and a narrative sequence.

  2. 2.The topic writer sets out key questions within each episode that all students must address.

  3. 3.Each key question relates to the particular episode of the narrative.

  4. 4.Each episode has infinite potential in terms of possible development and investigation. The extent of the investigation will be dependent on the innovation and personal experience of each student. There is, therefore, an optimum level at which each episode and key question can be investigated by each pupil.

  5. 5.Each child will reach different levels within each key question and will return to the Storyline for the next question.

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