Ameen Haque – Storywallahs – Bangalore
Based in Bangalore, Storywallahs helps schools and organisations leverage the power of stories to
inspire, motivate and teach. Mr. Ameen Haque, the founder of Storywallahs, says, “I tell stories to children from 3 years to senior citizens and anyone in between. I enjoy telling the most to children and anyone young at heart.”
Storywallahs at Schools
“Storytelling is a very powerful tool and has immense potential in Educational world. But unfortunately, it is highly under-utilized. If teachers start teaching through stories, it can do wonders for children”, says Mr. Haque.
At Storywallahs we help schools shift from rote learning to story based learning in the classroom by training teachers. We train teachers how to ‘Teach Anything Using A Story’ and have also developed a story based curriculum for Sexuality Education.
Essentially, we turn teachers into storytellers.
Children across different age groups like different kinds of stories. Young children (3 to 8 years) love animal stories, how and why stories and musical stories.
Elder children (9 to 12 years) like adventurous and magical stories, stories with more human characters. Adolescents (13 years and above) like stories of people, sports and motivational stories.
Storytelling Vs. Reading
Storytelling is far more immersive experience than reading because in storytelling:
1) The teller maintains eye contact with the listener and takes them along on a journey.
2) Use of voice modulation, body language and props bring alive the story far better than just plain reading.
3) Why would a child want to listen to a story being read when they can see it being performed!
Reading and telling, both are complimentary and different from each other. Both have an important but different role to play.
Key Ingredients to a Good Story
The magical ingredient in a good story is its content. A good storyteller is not just a performer but one who knows a good story from an average one. The key decision a storyteller makes is the choice of a story – is it relevant to the audience, does it communicate a regressive or a progressive message, does it reinforce or challenge stereotypes… these are just some of the questions a storyteller deals with, on an everyday basis.
A good story can inspire, act like a balm, apply a healing touch or make a complex topic simple and easy to understand. Hence appropriate and relevant content is one of most important elements of a story.
In addition to this, there are five elements that must be kept in mind while ‘performing’ the story:
Five key ingredients to a good spoken story are:
a) Voice modulation
b) Facial expressions
c) Body movement
d) Sensory details to describe characters/setting
e) Interaction with children where they can repeat some act or song which they can sing along with the storyteller
We use props for very young kids and special children which help them to visualize the story.
Schools Worked With Mr.Haque elaborates, “We have worked with various prestigious schools and organizations like:
· Teach for India,
· Azim Premji University,
· Stonehill International School,
· Indus International School (Bangalore),
· Vasant Valley School (Delhi),
· Riverside School (Ahmedabad),
· Inventure Academy
More importantly, we have trained teachers in the art of storytelling at most of these and many other schools.”
Storywallahs in the Corporate World
No matter what business you are in, you need storytelling skills to be successful. Leadership is no different. Be it vision, culture or strategy – these are best explained through stories.
The corporate world is full of numbers and information. Stories help us to make sense out of it and make information memorable.
Decision Science also shows that we take decisions based on our emotions. Stories are the best way to reach those emotions.
Stories for the Storywallah
Mr.Haque concludes, “The best return gift a storyteller can receive is a story from a listener. Many listeners have shared key episodes from their life stories with me and each one of these is a beautiful story.
Many stories I tell now are those gifted to me by listeners.”
For more stories, log on to https://storywallahs.com/
77, Purva Parkridge, GarudacharPalya,
Mahadevapura, Bangalore -560048