Monday, August 1, 2016

Story Week

This week, we learned about different types and ways of telling stories. We started at the library, as usual, but it was especially appropriate for this week.

Letters are needed to make words to tell stories, and the little ones played and made up words with our magnet letters. And I read them a really cute book about using our imagination, since it's impossible to tell a story without imagination!

On the first day, we learned about fairy tales and fables. We found some of the common elements found in fairy tales (magic, royalty, talking animals, things that come in 3's), and we discovered that some stories are told to teach lessons, like Aesop's fables. We also discussed the importance of conflict in a story. With no conflict or problem to solve, we wouldn't have a very interesting story!

Since royalty is found in most fairy tales, the kids painted some crowns and decorated them with jewels.

Then we made our own stories with the help of Rory's Story Cubes, taking turns and adding on to each other's stories. We had some pretty wacky stories! We also wrote our own stories with the help of some story-starting/imagination-inspiring printouts.

We also talked about telling stories with no words, only pictures, which helped the little ones understand that there are books they can "read" without knowing how to read yet! Describing pictures is another way to tell a story, and we demonstrated that with a very sweet book, The Girl and the Bicycle. We loved it, and I highly recommend it!

Lastly, we made bookmarks, because they are another important tool for reading long books! Gotta mark your place!

On Day 2, we learned about mythology. I read them the story of the Odyssey (illustrated children's version), and we looked at books about mythical creatures and Greek and Norse gods.
I also found an app that told the story of Theseus and the Minotaur in a really cute way.

For our crafts, we made origami cyclops eyes and Medusa headbands.

Ellie added her snake headband to her royal crown from the day before... Queen Medusa!

Then we created our own mythical creatures and wrote about them.

I had to do the writing for the little ones, but they drew their own pictures and dictated their descriptions.

Our last activity was coloring Greek god coloring pages, because we love coloring around here and no theme is complete without it!

On Wednesday, I took them on our weekly "field trip" to Miller Outdoor Theater to watch a free play: "My BFF the Dragon." It was a cute, silly play, and we enjoyed it. And we discussed that acting is another way of telling a story!

After the play, we ate a picnic lunch at Hermann Park and rode the train... and cooled off with some yummy popsicles, and none of it had to do with our theme, but we had a great time.

When we got home, we played "The Hat Game." Basically, it's a game I made up where they brought downstairs every hat they owned, picked one to wear, and then pulled a piece of paper describing different actions to act out in the way they think the person who wears that hat would do it, so we walked dogs like a firefighter, brushed teeth like the Statue of Liberty, went fishing like a king, baked a cake like Olaf, took a nap like a cowboy, and other silly things.

Thursday was superhero day. We tie-dyed capes.

We read comic books.

We made our own superhero characters and comic books, since that is another way of telling a story!

And my little superheroes played dress up and ran around saving the day.

Once the tie-dyed capes were done, Anthony wore his, every day!

On our last day, we learned about one more way to tell a story: movies! We made our own version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" with Legos and a stop-motion movie making app. We created the scenery and selected our props and the cast, and then we worked to put the movie together. 

Here is the video... enjoy!

Story week was really fun. The kids participated more than I expected, especially the little ones, since they can't read or write, but I think it really appealed to them because it tapped into their imaginations!

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