Literacy experience plan: A story about me

This storytelling experience supports children to share significant personal stories relating to themselves, their family and/or culture with peers and educators.

During this experience, children are afforded opportunities to develop important storytelling skills such as drawing meaning from stories and telling their own personal stories.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child/group level. 

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • interacting with others
  • language and emergent literacy learner (36-60 months)
  • learning focus: stories and narratives 
  • teaching practice: storytelling.

Collect information

What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Links to VEYLDF

Outcome 4: identity

Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities

  • Share aspects of their culture with other children and educators
  • Celebrate and share their contributions and achievements with others

Outcome 5: communication

Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media

  • Share the stories and symbols of their own cultures and re-enact well-known stories

Victorian Curriculum levels F-2: literacy

  • Listen to and respond orally to texts and to the communication of others in informal and structured classroom situations using interaction skills, including listening, while others speak.
  • Deliver short oral presentations to peers, using appropriate voice levels, articulation, body language, gestures and eye contact. 

Learning intentions

  • For children to show interest and make meaning from others’ personal stories which may include inferred meaning.
  • For children to tell personal stories with key storytelling elements such as beginning (who and where), middle (event/problem) and end (resolution).

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • listen and attend to stories from peers and make relevant comments and ask appropriate questions in response to personal stories they’ve heard. For example: “How did you feel when you went in the ambulance?” or “I have a babushka doll at home.”
  • share a personal story with the group that has some or all key elements of a complete/incomplete episode. For example “When I was a little baby, I went on an aeroplane with Mum and Dad (shows photo). I saw my Nonno and Nonna and they gave me this (shows mask souvenir). I like it because it has glitter on it.”

Resources

  • One-to-three story bags. Could be a set of calico bags that children decorate or a recycled cotton bag or pillowcase. The number of bags required depends on the size of the group of children, days of attendance and the children’s interest in this experience. For example, for a group of 22 children attending three days per week, educators may send out two bags at any one time and have this experience span over 11 weeks.
  • Information sheet for parents outlining the experience and what can be contributed and shared from home. Place one copy of instructions in each bag before it is sent home. Information sheets could also be sent via email or usual communication channels.
  • Approximately two-to-three props to support their storytelling, for example photo/drawing of family members and/or gift given to them after a hospital stay. Parents/carers to follow instructions on the parent handout and assist with prop selection at home.

Group size

Medium sized group if appropriate or small groups (2-5 children).

Differentiation

Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of the child/children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • for a child with issues around topic maintenance, the educator or parent/carer could provide visual cues to incorporate relevant and important information in the story. For example, picture/symbol representing person, place and time.
  • for a child who is telling personal stories with complete episodes, support them to tell fictional stories with opportunities to model more advanced structures to their peers as appropriate.

Experience process

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention:
    • explain to the children that they are going to be sharing with the group a special story about themselves. Provide examples of personal stories and explain that these may relate to their friends, family and/or culture.
    • show children the bag and explain that they will have turns to take the box home, talk to their families about their personal stories and choose one or two props to accompany their story.
    • talk to the children about the important elements of a story and provide an example of a personal story. After telling the story highlight key elements such as characters, place, problem and resolution. Use questioning to elicit this information from the children themselves. For example “Who was in my story?” “What was the problem that happened?” and “How did they fix it?”
    • record these elements on a poster and display in the room for the children to see and revisit. 
  2. Commence the sharing process, supporting each child to take their turn. Employ the following strategies to facilitate language learning:
    • encourage the children to ask questions at the end of each story, providing prompts which support children to focus in on key elements of the story. For example “What could we ask Emma to find out how she felt after her operation?”
    • model questions and comments as well as responses for children to hear. For example “Who else was with you?”, “Where were you when this happened?” or “How did you find your Pa?”
    • expand on what children have said to elaborate on their story structure and content.
    • make inferences in response to the stories and share with the group. For example “Your mum must’ve felt so excited at that moment”.
    • model advanced vocabulary and language structures in response to children’s stories, comments and questions. 
    • if a child speaks using some speech or grammatical errors, repeat their utterances using the appropriate forms for children to hear. For example Child: “It hurt my feets” Educator: “It hurt your feet, you must’ve felt worried”. 
    • explain new vocabulary to children and make links to objects, real life or previous experiences where possible. For example “Who remembers the harmonica we saw at the concert the other day?”
    • repeat and revisit new vocabulary and have children explain news words to the group at other times in the day.
    • talk about what was ‘learnt’ from each story by asking questions and making comments that focus children’s thinking around the ‘theme’ of the stories. For example “What have we learnt about Max”? or “So next time this happens Max, what would you do? Why?”
  3. To consolidate and assess understanding, have the children re-tell their stories while an educator films them.
    • this is an opportunity to expand on their story based on feedback from peers and educators.
    • discuss this prior to filming and reiterate the elements of their story and what they may wish to add.
    • share the videos with the group and engage in an extended discussion about the elements in the stories viewed.

Going further

This experience can be extended by supporting children to make their own books outlining their personal stories. In addition to storytelling and narrative, this experience would support children’s fine motor skills and written expression.

Reflect/review

Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Additional/alternate resources for this learning experience

  • photo book or photo album
  • story box

Related learning experience plans

Links to sections