Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Story Telling with Props

I love storytelling. When I taught at my last school, South Wellington Elementary, we did Saturday storytelling from January to May. So much fun and a great opportunity for professional development. Ever since then I have looked for great ideas for my felt boards and more recently for story boxes. 

Every time I tell a story using props, I view it as an opportunity to engage my Kinders with multiple literacy opportunities; retelling, sequencing, oral language, playing with words.... this is especially true when I make it available to them as a literacy station, during family reading or play. My February story, Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh was very popular and so easy to re-create. I found a wooden snake at the local teacher supply store in their clearance section, made the felt mice using leftover felt stuffed with quilting batting and found a large glass jar at the local recycling centre. The stone came from the beach. A pretty inexpensive venture.

On Sunday I discovered a new idea on Pinterest using wooden cubes with characters decoupaged on them. Inspired, I picked up my art supplies at the dollar store, cut some wooden cubes and voila by Monday night I had my own set for under ten dollars. I told the story Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann to two groups of K's on Tuesday and left it in the classroom for the Kinders to use. I have some leftover cubes and am already imagining Silly Sally by Audrey Wood would make a great retelling using blocks as props or even better using stickers to create a Roll The Die storytelling activity.

The secret to good storytelling is confidence. Knowing the story well and using language that you are comfortable with enables you to focus more on the audience. Posturing and voice come easily if you know the story well. Frequently I'll tell a story and then if it is from a book I will read the book the next day and sometimes even create a felt story or props for a third retelling.

If you have not included storytelling in your program I highly recommend that you plan for it and then jump in. Students love oral stories, especially if they are in it. It helps with unexpected transitions, can personalize learning and models great vocabulary besides just being great fun.


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