How Ananth and I Use Visual and Tactile Tools for Storytelling

How Ananth and I Use Visual and Tactile Tools for Storytelling

Over 15 years ago, I learned about Dr. Cabrera’s work on the Distinction, Systems, Relationships, Perspectives (DSRP) method. According to Dr. Cabrera, DSRP are four universal patterns of thinking that support systems thinking, critical thinking, and other forms of thinking.

Using Thinkblocks

Ananth and I started exploring DSRP and Thinkblocks when he was in Elementary School. While we stopped using Thinkblocks after a few years, we continued using DSRP and other DSRP tools (e.g., Plectica). DSRP guides our use of all visual and tactile tools and gives us a systematic and consistent way of thinking about ideas.

Enki Approach to Homeschooling

In the meantime, we had started using the Enki approach for homeschooling. Enki is based on Waldorf and other approaches. Ananth also attended a Waldorf school for two years. We used many Waldorf materials in our homeschool. We used colorful scarves, wooden figures etc. Slowly, we started combining Thinkblocks and scarves for storytelling. We would use scarves to visually demarcate different settings. For example, Ananth used to love The Magic Treehouse books. We would use one scarf for Jack and Annie’s home and a different one for the place they visited in that story. We would also use treeblocks to build the treehouse.
While we narrated stories with Thinkblocks regularly, we did not record videos. Now that Ananth is older and developing interest in storytelling, we have an opportunity to share our storytelling ideas and experiences with parents and others.

Watch Ananth’s narration of Cow Lakshmi’s Daily Visits using Thinkblocks. After his narration, I have explained our journey and provided tips for using tools such as Thinkblocks for storytelling. If you don’t have Thinkblocks, use household objects or other blocks! 3-D objects have a different feel than pictures.

Now, Ananth is able to process such stories without visual support. He is also able to narrate without visual aids. In fact, he had prepared this narration (over 500 words) without visual aids when I suddenly thought that we can use this opportunity to demonstrating Thinkblocks. We will use such visual aids with more planning in future videos!

Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD)
Ananth also weaves in TAHD tools (movement and dance, music and rhythm, storytelling, drama, and arts and crafts) in his presentations. We are enjoying integrating Thinkblocks and TAHD! Our goal is to explore the use of visual and tactile tools as well as TAHD tools for thinking, learning, and communication.

Watch the video and join the discussion in our whatsapp group here:

Dr. Dasaratha Rama is a certified leader in systems thinking, mapping, and leadership under a program developed by Cabrera Research Lab. She is also doing a certificate in Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) from RASA (Ramana Sunritya Aalaya).

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Morpheus Nag

10 replies on “How Ananth and I Use Visual and Tactile Tools for Storytelling”

Hi ..rama.mam and anath.
I watched your videos abt cow Lakshmi. It was very well articulated and paced.i enjoyed it.
Rama mam thank you for explaining think blocks

Thank you for watching Gouri! We are having fun combining Thinkblocks and theater now!

A lovely narration by Ananth, and Thinkblocks beautifully explained. They add a tactile element to storytelling which helps children visualise better. We have used them with animal figurines, flash cards etc. Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.

Wow what a great read! Always look forward to Ananth’s storytelling videos. We also use index cards / puppets / legos for storytelling. Though we also follow Waldorf methodology mainly for academics, we never used scarves etc. I think that will be a great addition to our set of tools.

Very interesting and inspiring. Such a lovely amalgamation of techniques! You both are doing a fabulous job Dr Rama and Ananth .

Thank you for reading the article and watching the video! Appreciate your comments.

Rama Mam, these strategies have inspired me to teach my son 3rd grade English story. I have used the theatre tool, sign language element to prompt him to remember the sequence. He is able to recite and show few movements
As this is the multimodal learning the lessons would be remembered well.

Thank you for your perseverance with which you are following this strategy. The more I watch Ananth videos the more i am gaining confidence to expose my child to higher order thinking.

Great to hear Anila! Just because they have language and other challenges does not mean they cannot think…

My takeaway is the tactile element associated with Thinkblocks along with visuals which is often missed.Will be conscious of this. Great tool to help the child practise subjective answers…

Leave a Reply