Every child loves stories. Stories fill children with wonder and stimulate their imagination. Storytelling exists in every culture as a means of entertaining, teaching and engaging children.
Through stories children come to know about the world; their own culture and other cultures; new ideas and people. They learn that challenges can be overcome with wit and bravery. They learn new words, and verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Stories enhances their creativity, listening abilities and collaborative skills.
When telling stories, memorizing the plot, narrating the story in words, performing with gestures and movements, the ability to improvise when needed, are all key skills. An important part of storytelling is the sequence of the events of the story. Being able to observe, recall, and sequence events is an important life skill.
Sequencing has two aspects – identification and retelling. Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and the child needs to understand and identify these three components. Following this, the child has to recall the events of the story and retell them in the correct order. Today I am discussing sequencing activity in the context of storytelling.
Why should you do story sequencing activity with your child?
Story sequencing activity stimulates observation, comprehension, narrative skills, and problem solving skills in children.
It improves reasoning competence in children.
Story sequencing activity requires arranging ideas, thoughts and actions into coherent and meaningful orders and patterns.
Conceptual thinking lies at the core of sequencing activities, and they are also the foundation of other academic subjects like mathematics, sciences, and languages.
It allows an opportunity for discussing the story, and the emotions and the values involved.
How to do this activity?
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do a story sequencing activity with a preschool child:
1. Choose an age-appropriate story:
Select a short, simple, and familiar story that appeals to preschoolers. The story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a limited number of characters and events.
2. Break the story into small parts:
Divide the story into 4-6 key events or scenes that are easy for a preschool child to understand. Keep the language simple and straightforward.
3. Create visual aids:
For each event in the story, use illustrations or printed pictures that represent the scenes. You can find images online, use clip art, or even draw them yourself. Ensure the images are clear and large enough for the child to see and identify. Many good, free printables are available at Twinkl.co.uk and other websites for story sequencing. Keep the materials (book and printouts cuttings) ready.
4. Introduce the story:
Pick up a good time for a storytelling session. Read the story to the child or narrate it using your own words. Encourage the child to listen carefully and ask questions if they have any.
5. Mix up the images:
Shuffle the images of the key events and lay them out in front of the child.
6. Sequence the images:
Ask the child to arrange the images in the correct order as they occurred in the story. Encourage them to recall the story and use the visual aids to guide their decisions.
7. Discuss the sequence:
As the child places each image, discuss the events and characters with them. Ask questions like, "What happened first?" or "Why did the character do that?" This helps reinforce their understanding of the story.
8. Retell the story:
Once the images are correctly sequenced, have the child retell the story using the images as prompts. Encourage them to use their own words and elaborate on the events as they recall them.
Congratulate the child on successfully completing the activity, and praise their efforts in remembering and sequencing the story. This helps boost their confidence and reinforces the skills they've learned.
For smaller kids, please remember this is a fun activity to be done together, not a test. For older kids, the child can usually retell the story and arrange the cards too in sequence by themselves. The goal of a story sequencing activity is to help preschool children develop their storytelling and sequencing skills. Keep the activity fun and engaging, and be patient as they work through the process.
Below are the pictures of our story sequencing activity carried out at home using the stories "The Rainbow Fish", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "The Blue Balloon", right after reading the stories.
A story sequencing activity can lead to a lot of fun and laughter! Enjoy!