CBS Sunday Morning: The Art of Storytelling

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My very favorite television show is CBS Sunday Morning. Each week, the show mixes news, human interest stories and nature to provide a perfect 90 minutes on the weekend. Since life is busy, CBS Sunday Morning often becomes “must see tv” on a weeknight after dinner.

It is rare for a week to go by when I don’t find a story or two that my students would love. In fact, I have a couple of pages in my bullet journal dedicated to mentor stories. I often weave the stories into reading and writing units.

What makes the items on CBS Sunday Morning so memorable is the storytelling craft employed. The stories: have clear arcs, offer emotional connections and use sound, sights and other sensory details to bring the “reader” in.

One of the best storytellers on the show is Steve Hartman. He took over the On the Road series made famous by Charles Kuralt. I recommend you open a few of the clips on Youtube. Hartman finds quirky, often quiet stories. His stories are a mix of interview, narration and strong imagery.

Whether relating the tale of a 95-year-old WWII navy man walking across America to raise funds to care for the last of a WWII Navy ship, meeting a whole community learning sign language to relate to a two-year-old girl, or sharing the story of three students and a community building “magic” rock, Hartman lets viewers see good in the world. Given the negative tone of discourse these days, CBS Sunday Morning is just the thing to add light to the day.

My favorite moment of each CBS Sunday Morning show is the “Moment of Nature” at the end of the show. CBS’s cameras capture nature across the country and the only sounds are those picked up by the microphones. I stop and breath deep with each moment. Try it yourself and you will be hooked.

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