Fireflies: Create a "Tell me a story" Box         

Mar 27, 2013

Create a "Tell me a story" Box

Just what is a Fireflies' "Tell me a story" Box?

Today's young children are living in a media-flooded environment.  For critical and creative thinking skills to develop, parents must provide opportunities for their children to process new ideas and connect the dots of language development.  That is why it is so important to read aloud to young children and engage them in language-rich communication experiences.

The Fireflies' "Tell Me a Story" Box provides opportunities for unique family experiences that encourage language-rich communication adventures!  It's a win-win...

Steps to creating a family "Tell Me a Story" Box:
  1. Choose a box.
    I love wooden boxes and found this gem at one of the many antique shops I have visited over the years.  As I walked through the house looking for the perfect storybox, I decided that the one, that once held teabags, would be a perfect Fireflies' "Tell Me a Story" Box.

Select items. (imagination story prompts)
Each month we will suggest items to place in your box - items that will be used to "Tell Me a Story"!  Because the target audience for the Fireflies' Blog is young children [ages 3 - 8], I suggest you place only 3 - 5 items in the box.  Even though we will give suggestions based on a Fireflies' theme, please feel free to use your storytelling box anyway you want to with your family.  
I chose the following items for my storybox:
-piece of blue cloth
-small box (because of our theme this month)
-bottle lid

The idea is to choose items that children will identify immediately, but can become something else, or have another imaginative use.

Once items are selected and placed in the special storybox, set the tone for engaging in this language experience.   "Oh Davis, I can't wait to show you our new special box. It's called a secret (surprise) storybox!  Oh I hope before bedtime we can..."  You get the idea - create anticipation.

Show your child the "Tell Me a Story" Box and open it to reveal its contents.  I revealed each one individually and ceremonially...

Hold up the blue cloth
Q.  What is this?
A.  All of the answers will very greatly depending on the age of your child.
Something blue, blue fabric, a piece of blue material, etc.

Q.  Yes, that is exactly what this is...but when we get it from the storybox, it can become anything we want it to be.   If we use our imagination, what else could this be?
A.  The goal is for your child to get use to suspending what they know to be the "right" answer and begin thinking creatively.
The sky, water, a glass of water, spilled paint, a rug or blanket.... (Oh the possibilities!)

For this first introduction to storytelling, simply go through each item in the box asking first what the item is, and then following up with what it could be.

Finally, using great enthusiasm and excitement, explain to your child that whenever they see the storybox [on the kitchen table, or coffee table, or in the child's room], that means that they will create their very own stories using the special items they find in the storybox.   
Keep the first session short by introducing your child to your family's storybox & creating anticipation for the first family storytelling adventure.

Oh, and once you begin telling stories as a family, keep a recording device close by.  You are going to want to capture these family legacy moments on video...I promise!

During our next "Tell Me a Story" Box post I will share why I am so passionate about storytelling and the growth that comes from engaging in this activity as a family.   We will also provide ideas for story starters to place in your storybox.

HOMEWORK:  Go find a wonderful storybox for your family storytelling adventures and meet me back here next month!   

What items did you select for your storybox?  Send us a picture of your storybox!
Deni Corbett

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At July 1, 2013 at 12:41 PM , Blogger Sheri Cline said...

Oh Deni! I can't wait to do this with my kindergartners next year. I just listened to your podcast with Davis and the Tell Me a Story Box about the birds. I LOVE hearing you "teach" - always have and always will. Thanks so much for your inspiring ideas and sharing your love of developing the communication skills in a young child.


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