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Notes from Storytime

Retelling Stories

All of MeWhen we talk about a story after reading it, we are helping children to remember what they heard. Using props to retell a story after you’ve read it can be a fun way for children to remember and internalize stories. You can use puppets or props around the house to act out a story. This strengthens comprehension and narrative, two skills that are important for success when your child is learning to read, and throughout his or her education.

–Tip by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator

By eemerick on April 17, 2012 Categories: Narrative

Story Structure

Red, Red, RedYou are your child’s first teacher. Researchers have noted that there are six early literacy skills that you can help your child with before they actually learn to read—one of which is narrative, the ability to describe events and tell stories. Stories like Red, Red, Red by Valeri Gorbachev have a certain structure with a beginning, middle, and an end. By exposing your children to storybooks, you help them become familiar with the way language is written. Not only are storybooks fun to share, but being familiar with their structure will also help your child know what to expect when they begin to read stories themselves.

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian

By eemerick on February 6, 2012 Categories: Narrative

Leaf Man

Leaf Man

Practice the narrative skill with your child by reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and creating your own leaf man. Once you have created him, talk about what adventures he might have and write them down so you can retell them again later.

  –Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant

By Michelle on November 15, 2011 Categories: Narrative

Talking With Your Child

All By MyselfTalk about your day with your child. Discuss what you did first, next, and last, leading up to bedtime. Stories, like daily life, have a sequence of events. This discussion helps to foster narrative skills as well as comprehension and sequencing skills.

–Tip by Carol C., Youth Programming Assistant

By MPPL on August 16, 2011 Categories: Narrative

Baby Talk

Baby TalkYour baby loves hearing your voice. When you answer your baby’s sounds with sounds of your own, your baby learns that what he or she says has meaning and is important to you. Just talking with your baby and allowing time for baby to babble back will help him or her develop narrative skills, which are important in early literacy.

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on May 2, 2011 Categories: Narrative

A Hat for Minerva Louise

A Hat for Minerva LouiseUsing things you have around the house as props can help children internalize and understand what is happening in the story. This will help them be able remember the events and to retell the story, an important part of narrative skills. In A Hat for Minerva Louise, Minerva Louise finds objects around the farm that she tries to use as winter clothing. After reading the book, try retelling the story with props you find around the house. There are many simple children’s books and rhymes that can be told with props and puppets—see if you can find another one!

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on January 10, 2011 Categories: Narrative

Read and Retell

Help!: A Story of FriendshipAfter reading a book with your child, talk about the story. Asking your child questions and reviewing the story will help your child learn narrative skills, which means the ability to describe things, talk about events, and tell or retell stories. For example, in the book, Help! A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller, you could ask what the characters thought of each other in the beginning of the story versus at the end of the story.

 –Tip by Julie D., Elementary School Liaison

By MPPL on October 5, 2010 Categories: Narrative


Peekaboo MorningNarrative skill is the ability to describe things and events and to tell stories.  Anticipating what will come next in the story is a good way to practice narrative skills.  As you read aloud Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora, ask your child to guess who you will say “peekaboo” to next. 

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By MPPL on July 29, 2010 Categories: Narrative

Picture Book DVDs

Stories About Growing UpCheck out one of the Library’s videos or DVDs based on a picture book, such as the Weston Woods production of Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus. Talk with your child about what is happening in the story, how the main character is feeling, and other details.  Read the book before or after watching the DVD and then see if your child can retell or act out the story.  Children love to hear stories over and over again, which helps them develop narrative skills.

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on May 10, 2010 Categories: Narrative

Plastic Spoon Snowman

Plastic Spoon SnowmanThis cute snowman is easy to make.  Use paper or felt scraps for the hat and nose, and use white glue or a glue-stick to attach.  A marker pen completes the eyes and mouth.  Use your snowman to act out and retell snowman stories at home.  This will strengthen narrative skills, the ability to talk about events and tell stories.

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian

By MPPL on February 1, 2010 Categories: Narrative