Storytelling is deeply ingrained in all cultures and for young children it is a way of expressing what is flowing through their imaginations.
Storytelling is also an excellent approach in developing early literacy skills such as understanding how stories are put together, expanding children’s vocabulary and how to use words to change or edit the course of a story.
One thing I have found when using traditional stories with early learners is that it is often difficult for them to think about the story as possibly having different outcomes. However, when they’re exposed to alternate versions, or when forced to change the motivations of the characters it’s like a whole new world opening up.
Now they can understand the purpose of editing their stories to make them better or funnier, sadder or more detailed. This will help them become better writers.
Jack and Jill
In this activity we are using the well-known rhyme Jack and Jill and adding other options. Children can flip through the flaps to create their own new short story. They might also like to make up their own new elements, brainstorming with each other, or with adults to create even more scenarios.
They can read these to each other, or write each new version into a writing journal. Or staple a few blank pages together to make a book so your kids can write a line on each page and then illustrate it.
How to use
- Print off the colour or black and white version pages
- Cut out all dotted lines and fold the solid lines
- Glue each flap onto the story mat being careful to put them in the correct sections
- Glue the story mat onto coloured card if you wish to make it stronger
I hope you and your children enjoy using this Storytelling with Jack and Jill story mat.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
Another related 3 Little Pigs post shows how I use interactive bulletin boards to develop these same skills. Check it out if you’re interested in creating adaptable stories on a larger scale!
I wish you happy teaching and learning.