We are on Spring Break here in Oregon. Spring Break is always a reminder to me that the school year will soon be coming to a close. At this time of year, I find that quite a few of the children I have been working are at a sentence level and I need to find something more difficult so that they are working with connected speech.
I thought storytelling would meet my needs. Storytelling is a good way to see language development on many levels to include, fluency, sentence development, story sequence, and ability to formulate a beginning, middle, and end. A lot of these skills correspond directly to what is being taught in writing.
A few things magically fell into place. I discovered my new white board is magnetic, The secretary asked if I would try out a new box of multiple color white board markers for possible ordering next year (at this time of year this is a real find) and I found a stash of old refrigerator magnets. I have some old felt backed storytelling materials for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Three Pigs, and Billy Goat Gruff. Although I’ve used these in the past, I’ve found the children tell the stories very routinely and it doesn’t lead to much variation. I’m not always sure they have developed the skills I’m looking at.
I’ve found that by adding props and structure the students get a better start I decided to print off characters and objects typically found in fairy tales but enough of a variety that the story plot could develop differently than the stories they already knew. I cut the refrigerator magnets into strips that were then taped to the back of the characters and objects. I started them out by adding some back ground with the markers; a beach, mountain trail, some trees. I told them they weren’t limited to the pictured objects because they could draw more if they needed it.
Children love to hear and make their own stories. However many children are quite daunted with the task of making a story because they have very little experience with it. Students end up with a tale that has very little detail or reasoning in it. The story becomes a process of labeling of objects or the characters do actions without explanation. You may need to model how to make a narrative, add detail, and make a sequence of events. You may need to model telling what the characters are doing as well as what they say. You can suggest they use a story they are already familiar with and change the plot. When working with a group, it becomes a running story as each student takes a turn.
I added Storytelling characters: for download on the expressive sentences page.
- Posted in: Therapy Activities from Scratch