Supporting children’s storytelling involves careful listening and gentle scaffolding. It is an opportunity to engage children one-on-one in a joyful activity. Here we provide video examples of scaffolding and tools to support children’s storytelling.

Helping Students Articulate Their Stories

In this video Ben Mardell supports Gabriela in telling her story.  Note how, after the story comes to a quick end, Ben reads the story back to Gabriela, and by asking a question the telling is relaunched.  Also note how engaged the children are in acting out the story. 

More examples of teachers supporting their students in telling stories (Jenny Goldstein, K1/K2 at the Mission Hill; Laura Shea, K1 at the Curley)

Visual Prompts (to help children identify settings and characters)

Pam Richardson created templates to help children identify possible characters and settings for their stories: WHO is in the story and WHERE does the story take place?

Stories in Many Languages

Children can tell stories in their native language. Stories can be scribed by adults who speak the child’s native language at school or at home. In this video SEI K2 teacher Maggie Hennessy assists a student tell a story in Spanish. 

Print Awareness

As an adult writes takes dictation, the storyteller will naturally be interested in the text; it is their story that is being written down. While the focus of dictation is getting the story, attention can also be paid to the text. Depending on the child’s understandings of print, that attention can be given to spoken words becoming written words, words being written from left to right and top to bottom, or decoding.