Thursday, October 9, 2014

Three and four year old authors? REALLY?

My preschoolers are storytellers, and that's a good thing. I believe literacy is a gift that can be instilled at an early age. When children see their words in print and realize their teacher or parent is reading a story they wrote (dictated), they are interested in adding details to their next story.

I start by showing them an interesting picture, and I say, "Tell me a story about this." Immediate reactions are generally, "I can't!" or, "I don't know."


I reply, "Sure you can. It's not MY story. It will be YOUR story. You get to make it up. Pretend. Use your imagination."

Amazingly, after I ask them the five "W" questions: who, what, why, where, when, the three year olds can stay on topic for three related sentences. If they get stuck, I ask, "Then what happened? Tell me more?"

The four and five year old pre-kindergarteners add rich details, learn to describe and create dialogue. This story project was done by a little boy who will be four next month. The kids think they are just twisting tissue paper, but actually they are strengthening hand and finger muscles that will make them good printers. By the end of the year I can see the future writers in my class just by looking in their story folders.


This fall tree was made by cutting off the bottom of a lunch bag and twisting half way up, then cutting the top into 1/2 inch strips and twisting each. Scrunch up 3 inch squares of tissue paper and glue on the branches.  Vocabulary enrichment: branches, trunk... and so much more.
 

7 comments:

Susan Sundwall said...

Linda, I just love this! The story is adorable and you can see the progression in this child's mind. Will try the craft with a few of my grandkids.

Susan said...

Love that you are instilling a love for writing in young lives. That is so wonderful, Linda. Susan

Karen Lange said...

This is wonderful! We need more teachers like you to help little ones like this. Love the picture, and the tree is a great idea. May borrow this for a project with my grandson. :)

Tammy said...

What a great project in so many ways! I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need to write a book of ideas for preschool teachers!

Bookie said...

You are doing super job!!! Not too many can do what you do with words and you are passing it on!

Daisy said...

The kids in your class are so lucky to have you. I love how you are encouraging their creativity at such a young age.

Val said...

Is it wrong to be jealous of a three-year-old author?