Token-based storytelling

“Token-based storytelling” is a phrase that I've given to the idea of doing a presentation by using a set of "tokens" to represent different parts of the story, and that you can take out of a box, a bag, or from different parts of a photo or graphic image.

You can imagine that in really ancient times, the storyteller around the campfire might carry with him a small leather bag, and inside might be a bear's tooth, a bit of caribou antler, an acorn, an arrowhead, etc.   When it came time to tell the story (or stories), he would just pour out the tokens into his hand, or on to the greathouse longboard, and he could use those as a way to remember the different parts of a story.   An added part is that people could see the items in his hand or on the table, and keep a higher level of interest waiting to hear the part that was coming about "that thing".

As he accumulated new stories, or embellishments to existing ones, he might add objects to the bag.  After a while, he could start adjusting the story to the audience and time by just selecting different tokens from his hand.

This becomes the basis for a new style of presentations in HyperStudio shown in the Desert Camp - Token-Based sample stack, and also in the Memory Box.

In more recent but still-ancient times, there is a storytelling technique used by the Romans where the orator constructs a virtual house in his mind, with different rooms being the big topics, and then furniture in those rooms with different items on them being the way to remember parts of the story.  The tokens-in-the-bag technique pre-dates that, although I wasn't actually there to see it.  My mom told me though.

Joe Brennan writes:  Now that hearkens back to my classical education. An older priest/ teacher (English, Latin, public speaking - I can't remember) explained to us that notes were for wimps. He, like Cicero et al., used "loci casae" - places in the house - to remember his lectures and sermons. I have used that for years to memorize lines in the occasional plays I've done and a few other things that I needed to do by heart. And I like that token bag idea too. The BBC did a community digital storytelling project through Wales (and other spots in the U.K.) called the Shoe Box Project. All the props and mementos for the video had to fit in a shoe box.

See his blog at Discovery Education here:

Token-based storytelling in the 21st Century with HyperStudio

Above are links to two example projects from the HyperStudio Home Stack set of samples, that have been exported as HTML 5, and embedded in these web-pages.

You can get your own “Forever Free” (non-expiring) Trial Version of HyperStudio with sample student projects, and tutorials about how to make The Memory Box and other projects, by clicking here.

* * * * *

Note: These stacks have an “automatic ReTweet button” in them that is explained in this HyperStudio tutorial: (Tutorial for HyperStudio or HyperStudio Player)

This tutorial is based on an article by Michael Stelzner, How to Add Retweet Buttons in Your PDF Documents, that you can find here:

* * * * *

Token-based storytelling