Stories are how children most naturally communicate their thoughts and make sense of their world. Young children also utilize stories as they rehearse procedures. Stories are powerful ways of teaching concepts that would otherwise be uninteresting, boring, irrelevant, abstract and hard to remember.
So when we find that we have to teach something abstract and dry, it is a good idea to embed those dry concepts within a story. The story will carry the stuff of the lesson but will deliver it unforgettably to the child’s brain in a whole context complete with associations that the child will love to hear again, retell, and will definitely remember. The kid-friendly part is in the comfort of story; the power for recall lies in the associations the brain makes.
The Story of A
Alphabet Tales are stories that unforgettably link the shape of a letter to a tangible object and to the sound the letter makes. For example, in "The Story of A," the capital A is actually an anthill that Abner beetle begins to climb as he is taking an adventuresome walk one fine day.
Although Abner is very very strong, he becomes way too tired to get to the top, so he tunnels through the middle of the hill. As he pops out of the anthill on the other side, Abner discovers he has ruined the home of a large family of ants led by Alexander and Abigail.
Abner feels so bad that he hurt the ants, so he stays around to make amends and help his new friends fix their anthill. He also brought food for them to eat until they could access their stored food underground. The ants didn't even mind sharing their apple with a green caterpillar. To keep the apple from rolling away, Abner shoved a stout stick into the ground.
A Tactile follow up activity
3-year-old Jaxson first listens to The Story of A.
Next, we used the activity included in Tales as we recreated the characters in the story.
Jaxson retold the story as he moved the Playdoh characters around the scene acting out what happened. Now, when Jaxson sees a picture of Abner, he gets pretty excited! And guess what? He can tell you all about A and how it came to be!