Storytelling in Kindergarten
Last year, the KG team took a professional development course called ‘Let’s play: Next-Generation Readers’/Writers’ in the early Years’ by Eric Kent Consulting. In the sessions we learned about the power play can hold in teaching children how to read and write.
-by Caroline De Meyere, Classroom Teacher KG Red
We talked about the importance of play and how children in the Early Years benefit most from a play-based approach rather than from information funnelling. The course talked about how student agency is an important part of the reading and writing process, how students need to oversee how they would like to be readers and writers. Our main take-away from this course was the ‘writer’s workshop’ which we decided to implement in all of the kindergarten classes. Below is a short overview of what the writer’s workshop has looked like so far.
This term, we were studying the book The Friend Ship by Kat Yeh. In the first two weeks we read non-fiction texts about hedgehogs and ships. We pre-teach vocabulary that will come up in the book, as well as information that they can relate to the characters in the story. We do this so the children can make connections to the story when we start reading.
In the second phase, we spent two weeks reading the story and playing out the storyline. We didn’t read the whole book in one go, but instead we made it a special moment every time we got the book out. We played out different scenarios, made crafts and made all sorts of connections. The last two weeks we spent reacting to the story. Once we knew the story inside and out, we created drawings and stories in response. We chose our favorite animals and made labelled drawings and created new stories by keeping the plot but changing the characters.
During this cycle of the book, we implemented a lot of role-play in order to encourage the children to connect and engage with the book. We transformed our classrooms to life sized ships where we were the pirates, we replayed scenarios where we asked our friends to come on our ship and we became the characters from the story. Whilst acting out the story we used vocabulary from the book in our play. We created sentence stems for the children to use to help teach new vocabulary and to support our English Language Learners during play.
We look forward to implementing a new book after the term and continuing with the writers workshop.