Monday, October 12, 2009

BEEing A Mom: Write Me A Story

Over the weekend, Hayden and I discovered a new educational activity. Saturday afternoon we visited our local toy and teacher supply store. As I browsed through the books and activities for sale at the store, I found a stack of tablets called "Write Me A Story." Three different themes were available: a circus adventure, a fairy tale, and a robot story. After reading the instructions and studying the tablets' contents, I decided to purchase the circus-themed one. I could hardly wait for Hayden to begin creating stories.

Over the last few days, we have written two tales wrought with conflict and featuring scary dinosaurs. Just so you know, none of the 96 stickers in the tablet had dinosaurs. But Hayden LOVES dinosaurs and a story is not complete until a hungry T-Rex enters the adventure.

I'd love to share one of his stories with you. But first, let me tell you a little about the tablets and how they work. Each tablet includes 50 lined pages and 96 theme-based stickers, and they are appropriate for children ages three and older. Because Hayden is three and cannot write words yet, I wrote the story on the lined paper for him, but he created the story. To begin, he selected a sticker and placed it at the top of the page. For the story I've included below, the first sticker he chose was of two monkey trapezists. I then asked him what was happening in the picture, and that is how our story began. Occasionally, he picked out a new sticker and we added it to the page. Both of the stories he created were about four pages long.

I truly enjoyed this activity for a number of reasons. First, it is fun and interactive. Our storytelling experience was filled with goofiness and giggles. Second, I believe it is a valuable tool in introducing literacy to young children. As described in the tablet's instructions, this activity teaches language and communication in a variety of forms - speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For a child who cannot read yet, this activity shows the child how the letters and words are written as the story is being told. And for a child beginning to write words, this activity provides a great opportunity to practice this new skill. Third, it sparks and encourages a child's imagination as well as the parent's. And finally, it introduces children to the basic elements of creating a good story.

As an alternative to these tablets, you could purchase lined paper or an easel-sized tablet of paper and an assortment of stickers to begin your own story writing experience with your kids.

And now, I'd like to share one of the stories my three-year-old son, Hayden, created. I hope you enjoy! :-)

Hayden's Story About Monkeys,
Dinosaurs, Clowns, and a Lion

Once upon a time, a monkey was upside down. A T-Rex came along and ate the two monkeys. The T-Rex joined four other T-Rexes and they went inside a cave. The T-Rexes chased the people in the cave. The people screamed and ran. One T-Rex found a triceratops in the cave. Hayden and Mommy were in the cave, and they began to run out of the cave, but they realized they needed to help Daddy escape. With Daddy in tow, they ran home.

They found "scary" clowns outside their house. Hayden, Mommy, and Daddy hopped in the back of the car with the clowns. The clowns and Hayden and Mommy and Daddy chased the dinosaurs back to their cave. The clowns took Hayden, Mommy, and Daddy home. The clowns then drove to the clown house. They played with some toys and lived happily ever after. Or so we thought! The clowns met a lion who liked to garden. THE END :-)

1 comment:

  1. That is so neat! Sounds like you two had lots of fun with it.