Posts Tagged ‘narrative skills’

Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears Storytime Fun!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Get your child into the story with these extension activities that go along with the classic tale of a nosey little girl and family of bears…

1. Read the story! Check out a few versions of the Three Bears and compare them–which is your favorite? Why? Is Goldilocks the same in every book?

2. Take care of your “locks”–did you forget your golden locks? Improvise! Use a towel or a small blanket as pretend hair. Talk to your child about “locks” and explain the different meanings of the word. What a great way to incorporate vocabulary! Try to keep your locks (or towel or whatever) on your head as you recite this silly rhyme and do the motions…

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, turn around.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, touch the ground.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, shine your shoes.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, read the news

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, Do the twist
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, jump like this

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, Comb your hair
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, go upstairs.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, turn out the light.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, say GOOD NIGHT!

3. Read a variation–now that you have enjoyed the story, explore other retellings! Here are a few of our favorites:

4. Retell the story!

Draw an empty house to use as your stage. Then print out the figures from here, color them and cut them out to use retelling the story! Practice telling the story with your child–ask him to tell you how the characters are feeling or what happens next. Don’t be afraid to tell the story differently or to add elements…have fun with it!

 

Prepositional Fun! Rosie’s Walk is an Action Tales Star!

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

In Action Tales, the Narrative Skills Storytime, today we explored the world of prepositions through the eyes of a very savvy hen named Rosie.



 

In Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins, Rosie decides to stretch her legs around the farm yard–unaware that a hungry fox is close on her heels! Rosie walks ACROSS the farmyard, AROUND the pond, PAST the mill, THROUGH the fence and UNDER the beehives. the fox tries to follow her but gets held up in hilarious ways!

Read the story with your child and then try a few of these extension activities to keep the fun going and STILL be home in time for dinner…just like Rosie.

  • Create a farmyard in your living room! Use couch cushions, pillows and blankets to represent the different locations in the story–try going OVER the cushion that your are pretending is a haystack or AROUND the blue blanket that you are pretending is a pond.
  • As you read the book, look for vocabulary opportunities–does your child know that Rosie lives in a “hen house” or that the “mill” is where grain is made into flour? Talk about the story setting–have you ever been to a farm? When? What was that like?
  • Use the masks that you can print from this page and take turns pretending to be the fox and then Rosie to explore telling the story from different view points. Maybe you want to pretend to be the fox and then you can practice falling IN the pond, instead! How does it feel to be the fox? How does it feel to be Rosie, the hen?
  • Find prepositions in your home–is the book ON the table or IN the basket? Make up some silly prepositional phrases and let your child “fix” them–the silly teddy bear shouldn’t be ON Daddy’s head! The teddy bear should be ON the couch, etc…

Read This: Higher! Higher!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Higher!  Higher! by Leslie Patricelli

A little girl being pushed on a swing has just one request:  Higher!  Higher! 

Her grown up pal happily complies, pushing the girl so high that she makes friends with a giraffe, some kids playing board games on the roof of an apartment building, a mountain climber, travelers on a plane, and many others.

Kids will delight in this fantastical story.  And with only a handful of words in the entire book, many will be able to read it on their own!  Or you can sharpen your child’s vocabulary and narrative skills by having her tell you the story or describe what’s happening in the pictures.

If Higher!  Higher! isn’t in and you can’t stand the wait, check out some of Leslie Patricelli’s other books.  She’s quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!

Gather ‘Round the Fire!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Some of my favorite childhood memories include my family and a big bonfire.  Sometimes we’d make s’mores, sometimes we’d sing or tell stories, and sometimes we’d just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. 

Imagine my surprise when, as an adult, I learned that those fun times had a hand in building literacy skills.  As you probably know from many previous posts, singing is a great tool for building phonological awareness because the different notes break words down into smaller parts.  And telling stories is a great way to work on narrative skills, which are an essential first step towards reading comprehension.

So there’s your excuse for some good ol’ quality time around the fire with the kids.  It’s not only fun, it’s a learning experience in disguise.  So break out your guitar (or just check out some CDs with great songs for kids), check out some great books for reading aloud or storytelling, and wait for sun down.

And don’t forget about Family Campfire at the library — we’ve got the stories, songs, and (fake) fire, with none of the bugs!

How to Operate Your New Book

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I wasn’t going to do another picture book review for a while, but my Move with Music kids’ reaction this morning to My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall made me rethink my position.

I confess, I didn’t pick this book for storytime.  In fact, the first time I read it I thought, “Eh.”  It was cute, but I didn’t see anything special about it.  It’s just about a bunch of animals.  “My heart is like a zoo — eager as a beaver, steady as a yak,” etc., etc., etc., as the King of Siam would say.  That’s been done before.

But for reasons I cannot explain, the kids loved it.  Sometimes that just happens.  Even better, this also happens to be a great book for several of the early literacy skills.  The fact that the kids loved it, well there’s your print motivation (interest in and enjoyment of books) right there.

And all the animals are composed almost entirely of hearts.  As you may recall from this post, shape recognition is the first step of letter knowledge.  Kids need to be able to pick out the differences in shapes in order to recognize letters and subsequently assign meaning to them.  And of course the kids had so much fun pointing out all the different hearts in the pictures:  “The feet are hearts!  And the nose is a heart!  And look, the bee’s wings are hearts!”  That alone is super cute, once you get past the grown up tendency to shout, “Yes, they’re ALL hearts!”

The text is in rhyme, which is great for phonological awareness (hearing and playing with the smaller sounds in words).  That is, if you can hear the text over all the shouts of locating hearts all over the place.  All that talking, by the way, does great things for your kid’s narrative skills (ability to tell a story).

And finally, this is a great vocabulary book for several reasons.  You’ve got all the different animals, some of which are a bit unusual such as heron, yak and hornet.  And the text itself is a bit adventurous.  The fox is crafty.  There’s a gloomy lone coyote walking in the fog.  The peaceful portly walrus is lounging on a towel.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t use these words very frequently, and I don’t often see them in kids’ books.

So here’s this great, multi-faceted book that I would have completely overlooked had it not been for the programming prowess of Mr. Michael.  Which leads to the title of this post.  Although I often wish they did, books don’t come with owner’s manuals.  But with a little creativity, even seemingly simple books can offer big learning opportunities!

And by the way, Move with Music is just about over for the season.  If you just can’t wait until fall to get your groove on again, check out Get Musical this summer!

Read This! All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

All The World by Liz Garton Scanlon

“Rock, stone, pebble, sand
Body, shoulder, arm, hand
A moat to dig, a shell to keep
All the world is wide and deep.”

This charming story, told in a lilting, singsong rhyme, walks us through a single day of one family’s beach vacation. Each stanza offers a mini vignette: an unexpected rain storm teaches us that sometimes things we don’t want to happen, do; a grumbly tummy wait at a restaurant illustrates that patience is indeed a virtue.

Nearly every page of this seemingly simple story, either the text or the nostalgic illustration, invites further discussion. That makes this a great book for developing narrative skills, and the rhythmic rhyme naturally enhances phonological awareness. Take this with you on vacation for a relaxing and timely bedtime read!

More new picture books!

Early Literacy Tip: Best Books for Narrative Skills

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Last week’s book review mentioned narrative skills, so I thought I’d take a moment to give you a little more information.  A child who can describe things and events and tell a story has well developed narrative skills.  Being able to talk about and explain what happens in a story helps a child understand what he is reading.  In other words, good narrative skills lead to good reading comprehension.

This is the most difficult of the early literacy skills to work on, largely because it requires the most parental involvement!  The easiest way to work on your child’s narrative skills is to talk to her — or more appropriately, have her talk to you — as much as possible.  Ask her about her about her day, then ask questions to get her to explain even more.  Have her “read” you a wordless picture book.  Read a book with a repeating theme and ask your child to predict what will happen next.  Read a book a couple of times, then ask your child to tell it back to you in their own words.  Check out our narrative skills page for even more suggestions!

More great books for building narrative skills!

Read This! Chalk by Bill Thompson

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Chalk by Bill Thompson

A rainy day.  Three kids at the park.  A bag of chalk.  Magic! 

Big and little kids alike will delight in the lifelike illustrations of this wordless picture book.  Have your child “read” this story to you, then have your very own book club.  Talk about how the kids in the story might have felt.  Ask what your child would draw if they had magic chalk.  Would magic chalk be a good or a bad thing?  These are great activities for enhancing your child’s narrative skills!

More new picture books!  More stories without words!