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Using Storytelling to Teach Children Biodiversity

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Interactive Storytelling (ICIDS 2022)


This paper is about improving children’s learning of biodiversity and preservation of the environment through interactive storytelling and gaming. We conducted a user study with a between-subjects design with eighty-three children aged 6 to 10 years from the South of Brazil. We analysed the role of the agent’s embodiment (embodied vs not embodied), the presence (or absence) of storytelling, and children’s previous knowledge of biodiversity, in children’s performance and engagement with the application. Our results demonstrate that: a) children seeing familiar biodiversity were more engaged with our system than those seeing non-familiar biodiversity, and b) children with a higher level of knowledge (\(3^{rd}\) and \(4^{th}\) school years) performed better in the species identification task than those with a lower level of knowledge (\(1^{st}\) and \(2^{nd}\) school years).

This work was supported by national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (UIDB/50021/2020 and PD/BD/150286/2019), LARSyS (UIDB/50009/2020), and Agência Regional para o Desenvolvimento e Tecnologia (M1420-09-5369-000001). We would like to acknowledge Funchal Natural History Museum, Lisbon city hall, António F. Aguiar, Fernando Louro Alves and Heide Vanessa Santos for the biodiversity information validation. Furthermore to Sandra Olim (3D manipulation), Ana Pires (feedback) and Marta Bubicz (connections with Brazilian schools), the Secretary of education from Horizontina city and to Bela União Municipal Elementary School.

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Ferreira, M.J., Paradeda, R.B., Oliveira, R., Nisi, V., Paiva, A. (2022). Using Storytelling to Teach Children Biodiversity. In: Vosmeer, M., Holloway-Attaway, L. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13762. Springer, Cham.

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