Play and theme-based learning with our children

Friday, March 23, 2012

Markers + Paper = A Very Long Story

We were on Kiwi Crate this week!
I know what you’re thinking. I’m getting thin on ideas, right? Well, maybe. But consider this a twist on the usual. I wrote this one up because of how my son surprised me by what he did with such everyday ingredients.

What started as a normal day of H pulling out a stack of papers and markers turned into a lesson in book writing and narratives.
While I was catching up on email, I looked up and noticed he went into the kitchen and lined pieces of paper up end-to-end into a very long row almost all the way across our rubber Pirelli floors. Interesting. I was pretty sure I hadn’t seen him do that before.
He started drawing a road that connected all the pieces of paper. He added cars, buses, buildings, signs, a train crossing and scribble at the bottom of each page.
I asked him what the scribble represented, and he said the words that told the story. This impressed me! Though he can write all the letters for the most part, he stayed focused on the big picture of creating the scenes for his book. He didn’t let his lack of know-how on word writing side-track his process.
Once done, he told me his story. He said something like, cars and buses and trains all lived in the great country. The bullet trains went so fast, faster than cars and carried lots of people to the country. Cars drive on the roads and pass the factories with smoke puffing out on top. Cars and buses have to wait at the crossing guards for trains to pass.
Then he got kind of shy about his story, and asked me to tell it.
There’s so much that’s wonderful about this to me. I mean, how great that he took the initiative to create and tell his own story. It turned into the perfect opportunity to talk about what goes into creating a book. We described what’s happening on each page and I exemplified how to build a narrative and move a story forward. It was such a fun language lesson for me too!
How have you tried making books or telling stories with your kiddos?

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