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Posts tagged ‘retelling’

Reading Aloud to Children Part 3 – Flannel Stories

My three part series will come to a conclusion with a post about flannel board stories.  Flannel board stories are a great way to take your standard children’s book and make them a hands-on learning experience.  This is a great way for children to tell and retell their favorite stories.  Flannel stories are great for reading, listening, retelling, sequencing, language, turn taking, fine motor skills, math, and beyond.

Flannel stories can be done in several different ways.  I made my own flannel story for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and used it last year with the Ladybugs (2 year old classroom) and this past week with the Leapfrogs (3-5 year old classroom).  With both classes, I did the story in different ways.  One way you can do it would be to hand out the pieces to the children to hold on to and they can put them on the board when they hear that event or character appear in the story.  With my particular flannel story, I made a caterpillar that the children would feed the food as he ate it in the story.  The first time through I gave the children pieces to hold and when I read a particular food, they would have to search their pile to see if they had that piece and then they were able to feed it to the caterpillar.  photo 2-3

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Another time when I did it, I placed all the pieces on the flannel board to begin with and had the children take turns taking the pieces off the flannel board and into the caterpillar’s mouth.


For retelling, I had a child place all the pieces on the flannel board and he wanted to feed the caterpillar without looking at the book.  He retold Monday through Friday by figuring out which pieces had multiples and making the connection that one piece would be the first day, two pieces would be the second day, etc.  I was impressed with his technique.

I had an amazing experience when I did this flannel story with the preschoolers.  After going through the story a few times, I had a child ask me, “Where’s your butterfly?”  I told him I did not have one, but maybe we could make one.  He agreed and we went to the table and I opened the book for him as a guide and he got out a paper towel roll, construction paper, markers, glue, and pipe cleaners.  Once other children saw what he was doing I had others join to make butterflies and caterpillars.  They were all so proud of their work.

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If you are looking to make your own flannel story, they are actually quite simple.  I have provided photos of the one I made, along with the pieces for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a canvas and felt.  I simply laid the felt over the canvas, wrapped it over onto the back and little bit and stapled it.  For the pieces, I looked up real-life photographs of the food.  I feel like the children are able to relate real-life photographs to their lives versus cartoon photographs.  I then laminated them and put a piece of circle velcro on the back.  You can also make the pieces out of felt.  If you are not going to use real-life photographs, I suggest using pieces that match the images in the book; that way children can simply match.  Another route to take would be to copy pages out of the book to use as your pieces (if doing so, the photos must be used for educational, personal, and nonprofit uses due to copyright laws).

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(Note: For the pieces that are multiples, I made them all.  Two pears, three plums, etc.)

For popular children’s book, the internet is a great resource to use for flannel story pieces.  Many of them are free printables that you can either color yourself or print out in color and use.  I have provided a few websites that contain pieces for popular stories that you might find of interest.  It is pretty easy to find printables if you have a specific story in mind that you would like to use.  Flannel board stories are such a simple lesson to do with children and they love being able to interact with their favorite books.  This is something that contains no age limit; all children are able to participate and enjoy flannel stories in different ways.



Stay tuned for more,

~ Chelsea

The Three Little Pigs Production

The children created their newest production on Friday. This time, we had both a pre-show and a show.  The children began by having a dance routine that then followed the production of the Three Little Pigs.  The children began preparation for the pre-show by looking up dance moves and videos with dancing on YouTube.  (Have you had a chance to see my blog about technology in the room! Click here to find out more!) The Kidz Bop dance video to a popular song pr was just what we needed for a pre-show.  The children practiced watching the video several times and mimicking the moves.  As interest continued, more and more children wanted to join.  We decided collectively that we needed more room and turned our back half of the classroom into the theatre.  We brought in a projector that we hooked up to a lap top and began to watch and learn the moves.

As the dancers learned the moves, others began to prepare for the show.  Seating was set out in different locations to test the best place to sit for the show.  The children requested to watch a video of a play where the actors and actress reenacted the Three Little Pigs.  The children began to call out things we needed in order for the show to go on.  “Pink noses! Pigs! A Wolf! Houses!” were words shouted to the friends in block center who were preparing the items.  When the video was finished, the children broke into groups of three to five children.  Each group of children were in charge of a house.  Each of the three houses were made from blocks but the children represented each differently pretending there was the stick, straw, and brick houses on the stage of the theatre.  A child reminded his group that in the Three Little Pigs story the wolf came in through the chimney.  They then set off to build a chimney.  When his group was done building, he checked on all of the groups.  “Are we ready?  Okay, friends.  This is what we need to do.”  He then tells each group of friends how the play needs to look.  He retells the entire story and tells the characters where they should be going during main parts of the story.

Look below to view their play in pictures!


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