Thursday 5 January 2017

What Stories Will You Create Today? (Teacher Talk)

Today on the blog I am featuring something completely different than my outfits, style or family news.  As some of your know I am currently working as an Early Years and Literacy K-3 consultant.  I've always known that I wanted to be a teacher, in fact when I was 10 I told my parents that my goal in life was to be a "part-time Kindergarten teacher"!  Several years later I did become a Kindergarten teacher and my passion and desire to learn about how children develop their language skills have led me to the job I currently hold.  Below I am sharing some of my learning regarding oral language and how to connect it to literacy growth for children Prek - Grade 3.  Hope you enjoy this segment called Teacher Talk.  😍



Why is oral language critical to young children's development? 


Research would indicate that children who have a well developed vocabulary and oral language skills tend to:

1.  Understand complex language structures.

2.  Develop enhanced vocabulary to refer to while reading and understand how to differentiate between multiple meanings.

3.  Establish rules for speaking for a variety of purposes. 

4.  Have a strong foundation for learning to read (predict sentence structures and connect to   words that make sense from prior knowledge).

5.  Oral language builds a strong foundation for reading comprehension. 


Story stones provide children with an opportunity to engage in hands on literacy learning, through play and exploration, while also connecting the reading, writing, listening, and speaking strands together.  For younger children who are  gaining 2500 words per/year (Roskos, Tabors & Lenhart), retelling stories in their own words is a powerful way to encourage new language and sentences structures to be practiced and explored.  As children gain a better understanding of story structures (characters, setting, problem, solution, and ending) creating storytelling  invitations encourages children to explore their  own imaginations and to create stories.  If introducing this concept to children, encourage them to  practice telling their stories orally several times before you extend it to writing.  During the writing process have students use storyboards with pictures or pictures and text.  As a celebration of their learning, in older grades,  you might invite students to invite  family members for a story time in the classroom, building storytelling videos or sharing their stories with care partners. 


 Possible theme kits to create or books to retell:


1.  The Mitten by Jan Brett (story retelling)

2.  Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (story retelling kit)

3.  Honouring the Buffalo : A Plains Cree Legend by Ray Lavallee (story retelling kit)

4.  Farm Creative Storytelling Kit

5.  Castel/Kingdom Creative Storytelling Kit

6.  Winter Animals & Forest Creative Storytelling Kit

Please feel free to leave your comments and ideas so that we can collaborate!!!



Flynn, E. E. (2016). Language-Rich Early Childhood Classroom: Simple but Powerful Beginnings. The Reading Teacher, 70(2), 159-166.


Jamison, L. (2011). Read, write, play, learn: Literacy instruction in today's kindergarten. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. 


Roskos, Tabors & Lenhart (2004).  Oral Language and Early Literacy in Preschool: Talking, Reading, and Writing.  International Reading Association.


The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2016 


  1. YES! I love that you're posting something like this so that I can take the tips and run for second language learning...Lucia is going to be telling me some stories this weekend! Happy Friday!

  2. Are you teaching EAL, not online? Let me know what Lucia thinks. I would also love ideas of how other people are using them. I am working with a few K/Gr.1 classes to implement them in different ways. I love when I have a chance to collaborate with others, it's my favorite part.