Writing: Storytelling on a Page

storytelling

Storytelling is a key building block for developing writing skills in young children.


The common cry a parent is sure to hear from their child at one time or another is, “I have to write about what I did over the summer and I don’t know what to say. I hate writing! I can’t write.”! Translation…I am not comfortable writing.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t prepare our children to write the way we prepare them to know the alphabet, to count and to develop other learning skills during their preschool and kindergarten years. Yet, writing is a skill that most of us will need and use for the rest of our lives. Being comfortable writing and writing well is critical to our academic and employment success.

I am not talking about grammar, punctuation or understanding sentence structure. These skills will be taught in school. I refer to the ability to describe something on paper that was seen, heard, read or told about.

It’s about storytelling.

Not just the stories you read to your child from a book but the storytelling that comes from sharing family history or events or making up stories about everyday activities as you spend time with your child. While being read to captures a child’s interest, expands his/her knowledge and fosters creative thinking, which are all building blocks of writing skills, the ability to tell and write a story must be practiced like any other skill.

Most of my life I’ve earned an income from writing…a biography, articles, technical writing, reports, recipes, programs for children, grants,web content and blogging. I owe my comfort and enjoyment of writing to my extended family. By the time I was two years old, my godmother and grandparents were telling me stories and helping me to tell stories about the things I saw when out walking or visiting with them. Even before I could write, they encouraged me to tell them stories and they wrote them down for me. Then the stories were scotch taped to their refrigerator for all to read. I couldn’t wait until I had the skills to write my own stories. It was all the motivation I needed to learn the alphabet and begin writing.

There is no more undivided attention a child can have than time spent with an adult or older sibling exploring something new, talking about it, making up a story about it. It can be as simple as a trip to the supermarket, a walk in the park, helping to wash the family car or assisting in preparing a meal.

As important as talking about what you see or hear or are doing is guiding your child through making up a story about what he or she is seeing or doing. At first, you will need to ask your child questions to trigger storytelling. After awhile that won’t be necessary.

Storytelling is a family affair and one that offers a role for grandparents and other relatives. Photo albums, attics full of stuff, and scrapbooks are just some of the things that can spark stories. Recording the story is a critical part of the process. Being able to look at and refer to his or her story, in writing, builds a child’s confidence and establishes a comfort level about writing.

If a child can view writing as storytelling on a page, be it paper or computer, he or she is on track for enjoying and not dreading writing.

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Banana in a Blanket

For a fun change for breakfast, try Banana in a Blanket.

Banana in a blanket is a breakfast that the kids can help prepare. There’s no cooking involved.

Banana

Preparation time: 5 minutes

 1 (6 inch) whole wheat tortilla
1 tablespoon reduced-fat smooth peanut butter
1 medium banana
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon crunchy, nutty nugget cereal
 

Instructions: Lay tortilla on a plate. Spread peanut butter evenly on the tortilla. Sprinkle cereal over peanut butter.

Peel and place banana on the tortilla and roll the tortilla. Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top.

Optional: garnish the banana in a blanket with more cereal on top.

 

Serves: 1
½ Cup of Fruit per Serving
Fruit and/or Veggie Color(s): White [What’s This?]
 
Nutrition Information per serving: calories: 303, total fat: 6.4g, saturated fat: 1.2g, % calories from fat: 17%, % calories from saturated fat: 3%, protein: 9g, carbohydrates: 63g, cholesterol: 0mg, dietary fiber: 7g, sodium: 306mg
Each serving provides: An excellent source of fiber, and a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium.
 
Recipe was developed for Produce for Better Health Foundation by Chef Mark Goodwin, CEC, CNC. This recipe meets PBH and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) nutrition standards that maintain fruits and vegetables as healthy foods.

Recipe from the Cool Fuel for Kids cookbook.

Source:http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/

See More Kid-Friendly Recipes
Search All Our Fruit & Veggie Recipes

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Making New Year’s Resolutions is a Family Affair

 

resolutions

Wendy Makes Resolutions.

Even young children can take part in the custom of making New Year’s resolutions.

Making resolutions  is a great way for a family to come together to talk about behaviors that need changing or activities that need doing.

According to a few child psychologists and psychiatrists that have written on the subject, parents need to buy into what a young child says he or she wants to work on in changing a behavior or in taking on a new activity. Experts caution that the younger the child the more he or she will need parental support and guidance to make his or her resolutions happen.

One of the ways the experts recommend to include your child in making resolutions is to sit together as a family and go around to each family member and ask what he or she would like to do differently in the coming year. Ask your young child what he or she would like to change, to do differently. Make sure that what your child wants to change is realistic, that he or she has the physical strength and emotional stamina to do it and, most importantly, it would be good for your child to do.

Once your child decides what he or she wants to work on, help him or her to develop a plan that you both can work on together to make his or her resolutions happen. Break the plan into easy steps. Let your child know what you will be doing to help him or her to reach each goal.

All the experts agree on the following :

  • The best way to help your child make his or her resolutions happen is to make your own resolutions and keep them. When children see parents sticking to resolutions, they are more inclined to stick to their resolutions.

  • Making and keeping resolutions builds a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • It gives children a sense of accomplishment to be successful at keeping resolutions

Good Luck with those family resolutions.

Happy New Year From all of Us on “Can Do” Street!

 

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All of Us Wish All of You A Merry Christmas!

ChristmasFrom everyone of us at “Can Do” Street, “A Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year!”

 

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“Can Do” Street Publishes An Enhanced E-book

Enhanced e-book

An enhanced E-book

We  are pleased to announce publishing “Can Santa Find Me on Christmas?”, which is our first enhanced e-book for young readers. It  features animation, narration, and text highlighting to engage and assist emerging readers in developing independent reading skills.

In our enhanced e-book, Santa goes digital, using modern day solutions for the age-old worry of children away from home on Christmas. In “Can Santa Find Me on Christmas?” the “Can Do” Kids learn how Santa will deliver their gifts to them wherever they are.

In the beginning of our enhanced e-book, the reader is offered the choice of reading the book independently or with the enhancements of animation, narration and text highlighting. Animation is used sparingly to prevent distracting a young reader from listening to the story and identifying each word as it is highlighted.

Each of the 22 pages in the enhanced e-book features the “Can Do” characters in full color illustrations.

You can go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NfNHFw2-9I  to view a YouTube trailer of our enhanced e-book, “Can Santa find Me on Christmas?”. It was published on Nov 30, 2016

Developed for the Apple platform,“Can Santa Find Me on Christmas?” is available on Apple’s iTunes.

Our enhanced e-book is the first of new happenings on”Can Do” Street. There is more to come in  2017…stay tuned!

All the best,

Jean

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