Creating stories in chemistry

Our brains lock onto stories. Our experiences are one story after another, each contributing to the long story we call life. As such, our brains are used to comprehending things presented in the format of a story1. Using a story format to present information to our students seems like a natural way of engaging students in what may otherwise be pretty dry content.

I recently re-did a couple presentations that go over some basics of chemical reactions. I decided to try crafting the information into some sort of story format. I won't say this presentation is a great story, but I think it's a definite improvement on simply throwing the information up on the screen and saying, "This is how it is."

I'd like to continue the meme (of sorts) started by Darren2 and continued by Damian of opening up these presentations to public comment and critique. What would you do to improve upon them? What stinks? What works?

Chemical Reaction Basics

Types of Chemical Reactions

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  1. I thought I had several articles speaking to the brain's special liking for stories cached away, but when it came to write this, I couldn't find them anywhere. If you know of any please leave a link in the comments.(back)
  2. and thanks to Dan for bringing it to my attention. I notice this meme has a pretty strong correlation with names that start with the letter "D." (back)