Show Me a Story
is a new book by Emily K. Neuburger featuring 40 different ideas for children to use their imagination and develop their storytelling skills! You may recognize Emily from her blog, Red Bird Crafts. I featured her story stones back in 2009 and I'm so happy to see her expand this storytelling theme into a whole book!
Emily is a crafter and teacher and combines elements of both into her book. Emily's crafting sense makes these projects easy to do, accessible, and fun. Components like group activities, storytelling prompts, and writing exercises make this book perfect for educational settings.
Many projects caught my attention, such as the Story Map where you make a map of an imaginary land and create stories about the residents and the Storytelling Walk where you visually collect items from a walk and then draw and paint the items to tell their story. One of my favorites was the Story Blocks and I am sharing that with you today!
Following the excerpt you can read the giveaway details - two winners will receive their own copy of Show Me a Story!
Story Blocks Excerpted from Show Me a Story (c) Emily K. Neuburger. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.
Photograph (c) Buff Strickland
Turn plain wooden blocks into movable storytelling prompts. Line up the blocks in a certain order and use them to tell a story. Take turns, and the next person can rearrange the blocks and tell a different story. It’s a natural way to develop a story — just line ’em up and begin.
There is something very satisfying about the heft of these blocks. When your children add new characters to their stories, they feel the weight of the characters in their hands as they place them in the storytelling lineup. These blocks give children a chance to use their bodies and their brains. Educators and therapists who work with young children will appreciate this balanced combination of gross-motor and cognitive skills.
Time: To make: 2 hands-on hours
Ages: To make: 5+, To use: 3+
wooden blocks, used or new
acrylic paint and brushes
pictures from catalogs, magazines, maps, personal drawings
colored pencils or pens (optional)
How to Make
1. Depending on the finish on the blocks, you may need to rough them up with a bit of sandpaper. Select pleasing, inviting colors for the blocks. You can paint them in a variety of colors, all the same color, or different shades of one color, as you wish. Paint three sides of the blocks, and stand them up on the unpainted side to dry.
2. Once they’re dry, paint the unpainted side and set aside to dry. Repeat this process until all the blocks are well coated in paint. Do you want to leave the blocks in their natural state? Go for it! Or use a stain rather than opaque paint, so that the wood grain shows through. The more the blocks are tailored to your individual taste, the better.
3. Sort through images and choose ones that seem interesting, creative, funny, or just darn cute. You can use drawn images as well.
4. Given that the blocks are most likely of different sizes and shapes, take care to match each one individually with a picture. Choose a block and then look through the magazines for an image that would fit on it nicely. Use the pencil and a block to lightly trace an outline around the image, but cut out the image a bit smaller than the outline. Don’t fret about imperfection while you cut: a little bit of uneven cutting will add character and life to your Story Blocks.
5. With a foam brush, coat the front of a block with a thin layer of Mod Podge and firmly press the picture onto it. Carefully press out any air bubbles and wrinkles, then coat with another layer of Mod Podge. Set on a cloth to dry. Once the blocks are dry, you may need to give them all another coat of Mod Podge to ensure their longevity.
Teaching Tip: During creative writing lessons, teachers can put the blocks on display and encourage students to choose some for their writing tables. Greg Nesbit Photography
Other Neat Ideas: Set a few Story Blocks on a windowsill, dresser, or shelf for a bit of story art, and change them from time to time to keep things interesting. With little ones, encourage creative building, rearranging, and stacking. Add a few Story Blocks with words to your child’s collection. This will add depth to the storytelling possibilities.
Now for the giveaway!
To enter this giveaway for a copy of Show Me A Story, please leave a comment on this post by midnight P.S.T on Saturday, September 29th. The two winners will be announced here on Monday, October 1st.
If you are reading this on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or in your email you will need to visit this post on The Crafty Crow blog to enter your comment for eligibility. Winners will be chosen using the Random Number Generator. This giveaway is available in the USA only.
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For another chance to win a copy of Show Me A Story just visit the publisher's blog and enter your comment there! You'll also find a list of all the other blogs offering a giveaway :)
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book for review but all opinons are my own. This post includes affiliate links.