Recalling events, summarizing action, and thinking about cause and effect in a story are skills that make strong readers! Adding a craft project to your reading time is a great way to bring stories alive for children and help them develop these skills.
As you read with your children, help them identify the main characters and events of a story. Pause occasionally to ask the child’s opinion about why a character behaved in that way and what might happen next in the story.
After you’ve read the story, involve your children in a craft project making colorful visual images to strengthen their ability to recall and summarize the events.
If children enjoy making their own prompts, they will be eager to retell the story for you again and again. Try these ideas for making visual memory aids:
Have your child draw pictures of main characters, scenery (forest, house, animals, etc.), or events from the story on index cards. Shuffle the cards and let your child retell the story as he or she puts them back into order.
Create a wooden craft stick puppet show to retell the story. Cut out drawings of characters and glue them to stick handles. Or decorate the sticks with fabric, markers, and other crafts you have at home. Gather your family and enjoy the show!
Paint on stones or blocks of wood to make your own story stones. Each stone can represent a person, place, or event from the story. Try painting story words your child especially liked, or had trouble with, on separate stones. Let your child arrange the stones to retell the story.
Enjoy the fun!