Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 16 SoL Story Challenge: Drawing Inspiration from Familiar Stories

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Whew! We just had the busiest weekend ever! Saturday for Little L went like this:

10:00am Teddy Bear Tea Party
11:00am Special Lunch at Gardeners Cafe
12:00pm Parents Day at Little L.'s Preschool

That' a lot of excitement for a four year old in one day.  Then today went like this:

11:00am Cousin J. came over to play
1:00pm Go to Casey's Hill for sledding with Cousin J., K, and M
4:00pm Grandma and Grandpa and Great-Grandma came over for dinner

With all this great stuff going on, it was hard for my little coauthor and I to squeeze in some storytelling for the SOLSC. Then, when we finally did have a minute, we had a hard time coming up with ideas.

So, what do you do when you can't think of an idea for a story?  Here a just few things I do:

1. Think of a true story that really happened
2. Think of people or places that matter most to me, then think of one thing that happened
3. Think of a person I'd like to tell a story to, and make up a story just for them
4. Look at pictures or videoclips to get ideas
5. Draw a picture of things I like to do, then tell the story of one time
6. Think of stories or books or movies I love, and write my own version

In today's SOLSC Little L. tells her own version of a story that is very familiar to her. See if you can guess what story she is adapting (don't cheat by looking below!):

Peter Rabbit has been a topic of conversation quite a bit lately. She has a porcelain place setting decorated with Peter Rabbit and other Beatrix Potter characters that was my husband's when he was a child, and I think this sparked her interest. She also has a complete set of Beatrix Potter books that was a gift one year, and she's enthralled by the stories. The beautiful language captivates her. The gorgeous illustrations and little child-sized hardcover bindings are absolutely enchanting. The thing that I think interests her the most, and the thing that is the most surprising to me as an adult…. is that the stories are shockingly violent in a way that I think scares her just a little, but not enough that she dislikes them. There really isn't a better word to describe them, but violent. Funny, I must have read the same set of stories a hundred times when I was little but I don't remember them being so violent. I guess I must have been so swept away by the child-size covers and adorable pictures that I didn't even notice that characters were risking limb, and losing life on every other page!

Little L has a bunch of other stories that she loves to retell, especially for her baby brother. She loves to do The Three Little Pigs, and she also really loves to tell the story of The Carrot Seed and her own versions of Winnie the Pooh chapters, and movies that she's seen (especially The Lego Movie lately). (Also, for more on emergent reading with preschoolers and kindergarteners click here).

What about you, dear readers. What familiar stories did you love to retell when you were young? Do your students or your own children retell old favorites? Leave a title in the comment section!


  1. The Little Girl (Boy) Who Cried Wolf.

  2. I loved to retell Goldilocks and the Three Bears! My aunt has a cassette recording of it- it's pretty funny to listen to as an adult!