Monday, January 04, 2010

Squirrel Stories (So Far)

The children do quite a bit of storytelling at Woodland Park, much of which I post here for your entertainment and edification. (If you’re interested in reading more of the children’s stories scroll to the bottom for links.)

Last year Alex told what originally seemed like the same story over and over, but it wasn’t until I sat down last summer to transcribe them that I noticed its subtle evolution over the course of the year and how, taken together, they told the larger story of how this 3-year-old was trying to make sense of a challenging moral issue. It was this experience that made me want to stay on top of transcribing the children’s stories this year.

Isak, like Alex, has been sharing more or less the same simple story with us this year. This is how it’s evolved so far.

This is the original story:

The squirrel eats flowers, plants and mushrooms.

Here he’s added a storytelling convention:

Once there was a squirrel and he eats flowers, plants and mushrooms.

Here he’s giving us a little more information about the squirrel’s feelings:

The squirrel eats flowers, plants, mushrooms. The squirrel felt full.

This time he’s gone back, word-for-word, to the original story:

The squirrel eats flowers, plants and mushrooms.

And this is his most recent version:

The squirrel eats pumpkins with flowers and plants inside it.

This iteration represents for me a change in what he's done up to this point. Both when he told it to me one-on-one and when I read the story aloud at circle time, Isak laughed, making it clear he was telling a joke. It shows me that he’s getting comfortable with the storytelling process, understanding that what he says to me is going to later be broadcast to his friends. This type of writing is not the same as journaling or diary writing in that it is specifically created to communicate something to an audience. I’ve noticed that he really has a good time laughing at his friends’ silly stories and it seems he wanted to take a crack at creating that experience for them.

Here are links to other posts about the children's storytelling.

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Reservoir Dad said...

Teacher Tom,

These story posts are so good that it would be great to see all the stories together on their own website.

Deborah Stewart said...

These stories are just cracking me up. I love how you changed the (peach story I think) into a poem just by changing the way the words were placed on the paper. I agree - can you put all the stories into one post some day?

Michelle said...

I love these stories. The things kids come up with crack me up. Just be grateful you weren't in charge of transcribing Mister Man's stories. Even at 3, they were COMPLEX and long. And yep, they change regularly!

Centers and Circle Time said...

I loved this:) How delightful...A collection of these stories along with the child's art work bound in a book would make a perfect graduation gift to the parents.