Teaching in the age of a pandemic – part 3: keep telling stories without burning out

When we tell stories to our students, they get the full range of human non verbal communication. This is particularly true with Story Listening because the story unfolds in front of their eyes, so I rely a lot more on my body and face as a story teller than when I do a Movie Talk.

My students and I have been deprived of this human interaction because I am wearing a mask, I can’t get close to them, and sometimes half my class is on Zoom, which means anything I write on my classroom board is blurry.

So, I am switching to recording Story Listening stories for my students. It took me a while to let go of the live Story Listening but when my school recently moved to a Hyflex hybrid model (half in the room and half online at the same time), I finally took the step.


  1. I can record whenever I am ready (productivity and self care)
  2. It gives me a break during class (self care)
  3. I can reuse the same video with all my Novice classes and differentiate the after-story reading task (productivity and self care)
  4. My students get to see/hear me without a mask and experience the full range of human non verbal communication (priceless)

Kudo for the idea goes to St Andrew’s Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning‘s hybrid teaching strategies, shared by Anna Gilcher.

This is the story of the H&M commercial “A magical holiday“, which is part of my commercial madness. If you teach French, feel free to use if you need a break. I will record a bunch more during the break. Here’s to continuing to provide compelling and comprehensible input without burning out. Hang in there!

And here is the script for any post story reading activity of your choice.


  1. Salut Celine, Merci mille fois for l’histoire magique. My novice learners loved it! Your advice and blog are always so beneficial to my constant CI teaching and self learning.

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