Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fellan's Story

Part of the requirements of the boy's preschool is that each parent must work at the school about 5 to 6 times per semester. My turn to work at the school was a week ago on Friday.

I always have fun working there because I love seeing the boy play with his friends and I get to see what he actually does every day at school. But last Friday was even more fun because they've started something at his school that is pretty neat - the kids each get to tell a story and then act it out. It wasn't the boy's turn during my "parent-helper day", so I've been anxiously asking him every day after school if he got to tell a story that day.

Finally, this past Friday, I forgot to ask him about it, but found a sheet sitting on the dining room table. The front page was an explanation of the project:

"We are please to contine to participate in a variation of the Classroom Storytelling Project that originated with participation in the School Literacy and Culture Project at the Rice University Center for Eduation... As a part of the literacy curriculum, in our school, your child will act out adult written literature. S/He will also be dictating and acting out his/her own stories. Copies of your child's storieswill be sent home so that your child can share them with you. We encourage you to take the child's interest in these stories as far as they wish to go. Act them out with siblings and friends. Enjoy the enthusiasm your child brings home along with the stories. The stories may be factual or fictional, or some combination of both. Children tell stories that help to make them part of the community of children in our school and to cement developing friendships... The stories will be dictated by your child and as children go through stages in making sense of this language, occasionally a story will have nonstandard grammar. For example a child might say, 'He goed to the store.' We will then give your child the choice by rephrasing the sentence as 'He goed to the store, or he went to the store?' If the child chooses the nonstandard grammar, we will write what he/she says. Ultimately the words of the story belong to your child..."

Ok, I know that's a really long explanation of the story, but I just think this project is so cool. After seeing how excited the kids were about the story on my parent-helper day and how important is makes the story-telling child feel, I couldn't wait to see what kind of story the boy would come up with.

The day before the boy told his story was "teddy bear day" at the school - every child had brought a teddy bear to school and then the teddy bears spent the night at the school. When we arrived the next morning, the kids weren't allowed to go into the school room right away because the bears had gotten into some "mischief" the night before. :)

So, Fellan's story was:

My bear was stringing on the beads. Then I found him. I got him to the circle.

My husband wasn't home until almost bedtime Friday night, but when I found the story, the kids and I read it over and over, acted it out, and the boy was thrilled about his story. By the time Daddy got home that night, both the kids knew the story by heart and were very excited to tell him all about it.

We went and got the page with the story written on it and the boy stood in front of his Daddy, holding the page with both hands, proudly reading his story. When he finished reading, he put the paper down by his side and took a very deep bow. I'm not sure who was more proud, the boy or his Daddy. It was the cutest thing.

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