Motivating Students by Using Games and Stories


The task of motivating students is not an easy one and this calls for a lot of effort and appropriate techniques to be employed for this goal to be achieved. Teachers experience a lot of difficulties in teaching students who are bored and less motivated. For students to have focus and be in a position to perform well in class, all other alternatives that try to steal their attention must be dealt with (Harris, 2010). The use of stories and games is an approach that has been proven to solve motivation problems associated with students (Miller, 2008). Using stories while making explanations maintains the interest of students while educational games involve students in the learning process which is good for their motivation (Miller, 2008). Games boost the self-esteem of students and at the same time promote teamwork that is necessary for learning. When some fun is introduced in learning, it makes even the most difficult subjects and topics to teach look simple because the fun and interest generated by games and stories motivate students (Miller, 2008).


Effective learning by students is undoubtedly achieved by high levels of students’ motivation. Games and stories are essential motivational tools used by teachers to involve students in learning. Every teacher admires having a motivated class because it is a kind of lass that is fun to teach. When stories and games are used hand in hand, students achieve high levels of motivation compared to the use of only one motivational tool. Motivating students using games and stories require a lot of commitment, passion, and creativity on the part of the teacher. The two motivational tools should be used interchangeably by teachers to avoid monotony.

Motivation by Games

Educational games used in learning can be designed by the teacher or students themselves (Miller, 2008). According to Miller (2008), students who work together collectively in designing educational games promote teamwork and at the same time participate actively in the learning process. When students are given an opportunity to design a game, their creativity is stirred because they are able to apply what they learned in class in designing educational games (Miller, 2008). Students value games the most and if they are incorporated in the learning process, their interest and motivation increase significantly (Brophy, 2010). According to Miller (2008), teachers who have employed this technique testify to have seen great improvement in the overall performance of their students.

Motivation by Stories

Stories read or narrated to students by their teachers in the learning process trigger their emotions and generate interest (Lim, 2007). According to Lim (2007), stories used while teaching allow the students to relate to them and at the same time prepare them mentally to deal with similar situations in case they come across them. Stories enable teachers to catch the attention of students quite easily making them forget about other distractions. According to a neuroscience discovery, the human brain accesses and retains information quite easily through stories (Lim, 2007). Stories are very important in helping students remember and apply the information learned in class. According to Atherton (2011), stories motivate students to think critically and at the same time create a strong bond between the teacher and the students.

Teachers’ Experience

As a teacher, one is expected to impart knowledge to their students using the most effective methods available. Some teachers find it tedious to design educational games but those who have tried it have experienced an improvement in their students’ motivation (Miller, 2008). Teachers ought to be creative enough to incorporate some relevant stories while teaching to improve students’ attention. According to Harris (2010), a teacher has to take a keen interest in the issue of motivation because he or she is bound to fail in their mission of imparting knowledge. Games and stories are useful tools in motivating students and teachers need to be enthusiastic and dedicated to making sure their classes are motivated (Brophy, 2010). According to Brophy (2010), teachers believe that students who are less motivated in school need to be offered a wide range of choices to increase their interest and participation in learning. Brophy (2010) observes that teachers who employ storytelling painted with some humor have the most active and attentive classes. Students and teachers are meant to enjoy the learning process and this enjoyment can only be initiated by the teacher (Brophy, 2010).


Teaching methods applied by teachers play a vital role in students’ motivation. The table below shows the relationship between students’ motivation and the use of games and stories as motivation tools.

Motivational tool Games alone Stories alone Games and Stories None
Estimated % in motivation 65 60 90 35


Atherton, J.S. (2011).Teaching and learning, tales and myths to teaching. Web.

Brophy, J.R. (2010). Motivating students to learn (3rd Ed.).Oxon, OX: Routeledge.

Harris, Robert. (2010).Some ideas for motivating students.

Lim, Liam. (2007).Teaching children trough stories.

Miller, T.C. (2008).Games: Purpose and potential in education. New York, NY: Springer.