Story Dictation

Have you done this with your children? Story dictation. I love it! Here I am taking dictation for C. at her preschool last week. The idea is that the grown-up writes down the words of the child’s story and then reads it back to the child. It’s been documented as a powerful tool for pre-readers, but it’s a wonderful bonding experience, too! C. told me a story about two penguins and their babies and the kangaroos with whom they go to swimming class. I took dictation for four or five children in an hour. At home we do story dictation and C. illustrates the stories, too. At school they act out the stories and all the children take different parts in the story-play.

I love the chance to climb inside C’s imagination and to have a ringside seat as the story unfolds. She loves to hear stories read to her that she made up last year, when she was only four. They are a hoot. Here’s a brief excerpt from a story called, “Catherine’s Princess Dream:”

“…and then they went to the store to get a birthday cake. And then the Queen got the cake out of the fridge. And then the Queen got the presents and said, ‘Here! Ollie-ollie-ollie. Here! Lollie-ollie-ollie. Hey! Ollie-ollie-ollie-ollie! Ho-ollie-ollie-ollie. And then they went goodbye saying, ‘Ho! lollie-ollie-ollie. Hey! Lollie-ollie-ollie.’ And then they’re walking. And then there was something going but it was a fire alarm. And we had to go outside, where the watermelon grows. And then they went to pick berries at the willow tree and they went outside.”

And what could be better than having a record of that?

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One thought on “Story Dictation

  1. oh i love story dictation! as an early childhood consultant i feel it is one of the most powerful tools for early literacy, and as you stated, for forging trust and an intimate bond between story giver and story writer. how i wish their were more mamas (and preschools) like you who realized the value in this kind of organic, non-forced learning, rather than rote memorization of facts! i am really enjoying your blog, thanks for the inspiration!

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