Week 5: Telling stories

Download the week 5 lesson plan as a Word document.

Download the week 5 interactive lecture as PowerPoint slides.

Download the week 5 interactive lecture as an H5P file by clicking the “reuse” button.

Download the week 5 interactive lecture as an audio recording.

Student instructions:

Welcome to Week 5! This week, we’re focusing on storytelling. While it may seem odd to focus on storytelling in a business communications course, storytelling will help you be more persuasive, think about organization in a different way, and blog more effectively.

This week, you will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Watch The Danger of A Single Story.
  • Attend the weekly session or do the interactive lecture.
  • This week’s participation activity will be in your group. You will each be given a collaborative writing document and will write a story together. You can do this by meeting and writing your story as a group, or you can each add a couple of paragraphs to the story. When you’re done, see if you can identify the parts of a story. Post your story in the main forum once it’s done.
  • Bonus: Our reading was about the danger of a single story. For your bonus point, write about a time when someone created an overly simple story about you. How could you use your blog to tell a different story?
  • If you’re blogging publicly, put a link to your blog in the Excel document, so that we can see each others’ work.

An illustration of a piece of paper with writing on it and a pencilInstructor notes: 

Create a spreadsheet so students who are blogging publicly can share their blog URLs. Include a video about the midterm. The Danger of a Single Story video is not open, but it is freely accessible.

Student instructions:

Participation Activity Prompts

Use this document to write your story. You can either meet as a group and write it, or you can each add a couple of paragraphs. When you’re done, see if you can identify the parts of the story that we discussed in our lecture.

If you’re having trouble getting started, use one of these prompts.

Prompt #1: Last Thursday, I returned from work completely exhausted. I pulled into my driveway, walked up to my front door and….

Prompt #2: When I’m stressed, I like to take a walk on the beach. That day, I was walking along, listening to the sound of the waves against the shore, when I saw…

Prompt #3: Last summer, I earned some extra money by cleaning out old houses and getting them ready for sale. It was dirty, sometimes smelly work. One day, I was dusting a bookshelf in this old mansion when…

Prompt #4: When I got on the airplane, I was expecting adventure. Little did I know…

Prompt #5: The night was quiet. I had just finished brushing my teeth and was about to climb into bed when I heard a faint sound coming from outside in the garden.

Bonus Forum

For your bonus forum, reflect on a time that you experienced the dangers of a single story. How could you use your blog to tell a different story?


Talk to an elder in your life and ask them to tell a story. You don’t have to write down the story, but write a paragraph about that experience. What was it like listening to the story? What did you learn?


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Resources for a business communications open online course Copyright © 2020 by Arley Cruthers; Melissa Ashman; John Grant; Seanna Takacs; and Petti Fong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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