Storytelling puppets

Rose is at that great age where she is just beginning to tell stories. Her confidence is growing as she reads more books, telling the story with the help of pictures. The words may not match but she is so proud to be able to interact with a book in such a way.

Using the pictures as prompts encourages her to tell her the story with more detail. Using concrete things she can manipulate encourages even more interaction.

I modeled telling the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears using a Reversible Storytelling Puppet. Goldilocks is visible and then if you turn the puppets upside down you have Papa Bears on one side and Mama and baby bear on the other. It is cute and Rose is now able to tell the story herself. Having baby bear come out of his mama’s apron adds to the story.

She particularly enjoyed flipping the puppet over and saying “Look, bears!” and “Look, Goldilocks!”

Reversible Storytelling puppets are also available for Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Little Red Riding Hood

3 Little Pigs

I have tried photographs and flannel board as well as the interactive whiteboard but nothing beats a stuffie they can cuddle too! What do you use to bring your stories to life?

Story telling with Fairies

We are all a little fairy mad here; stories, movies, toys, gardens, pinatas and parties.

Daisy enjoys playing with her fairies and I noticed her telling stories and acting them out. I asked if she would like to make a book to tell one of her stories. The response was one of excitement.

We sat down and discussed the story she would like to tell. I mapped it using a graphic organizer so we had a set story to follow.

Yes, this does seem very organized for a simple story but I wanted to be able to read the story again and again and not cringe. Daisy tends to tell a story one way and then forget what happened and change it for the next retelling. This is a wonderful way to improve and develop story telling skills but in this case we wanted a strong story with a problem to work with.

I helped her identify the characters, setting, problems, event and solution. I used a great Flip Chart which comes with a teacher’s photocopiable book. I have used it when tutoring a grade 7 student and have found it very useful for learning how to structure and plan writing.

We used our plan to tell the story. I wrote the story and photographed…

… while Daisy acted it out with her fairies and various other toys and props we found.

Here the fairies are chilling by the pool. The story was simple but it had a problem to be solved.

This allowed us to finish with a satisfying ending. This picture in particular made Daisy very proud.

The fairies were trapped in the building. Big people had left a bowl of beans out for the fairies but didn’t realize they were trapping the fairies behind the gates. The hummingbird took a message to the fairies chilling by the pool who came back and rescued the trapped fairies. They did this by sprinkling fairy dust on the bowl of beans. Daisy loved the realistic flying bowl of beans (I cropped her hand out of the picture).

The story (Daisy’s story, in her words), photos and a little photo shoot in a fairy costume were made into a beautiful book.

Daisy was very proud to receive her own book ‘Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Dust Rescue” for her birthday. It has been well read and shared already.

Why Act Out a Story?

This is a great way to see if the story you have just read has been understood. You get to assess reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge and sequencing skills while the ‘actor’ gets to have fun! This activity gives the actor opportunity, to make a personal connection with the story.

We read the story together. Then we gathered the main characters; mainly rabbits in this story- yes we have too many stuffed rabbits!  The only props we needed were a tree and a remote control. The clothes horse stood in for a tree and my camera case was a remote.

The story went some thing like this as told by Daisy:

Lettuce lived high on a hill. Nibble, nibble, hop, hop, everyday was the same.

A small bird flew by.

“I wish I could fly.” said Lettuce.

She dreamed of flying.

She tried jumping and flapping her arms and ears.

“I’ll never be able to fly”.

She heard a hum and saw a beautiful pink aeroplane.

It landed and Lettuce jumped inside. It took off and went up, up, up into the sky.

“Help” Lettuce sqealed and then “I never knew the world was this big!”.

Judder, lank, CRASH. The plan landed in a tree.

Lettuce held onto a branch of the tree.

She fell down, down, down into the arms of a little girl.

“What are you doing here?”

I just wanted to fly and now I’ll never get home” moaned Lettuce.

“I’ll fly you back” and she showed Lettuce the remote control.

“Thank you” said Lettuce.

She flew back home and all the bunnies were excited to see her. When she landed and went to the burrow she told all the bunnies about her trip.

“Sometimes you really can make a dream come true.”

The book we read is “Lettuce The Flying Rabbit” by Mandy Stanley.

She enjoyed the acting and role-played again as I reread the story.

In these photos you may see a girl playing with stuffies or you may see a wonderful story about a flying rabbit. This activity can be done in many different ways. You can vary the props, characters, method of roll playing, scenery. The options are endless.

Learning Opportunities:

  • English LA: sequencing a story, retelling, using learned vocabulary, identifying the characteristics of a story; characters, problem, solution, beginning, middle, end

How have you acted out a story?