I began to notice how she was talking about what she was doing as she placed the stickers and that she was verging on a simple form of narration and basic storytelling. I realised how useful they could be as a launch pad into language development through labelling the objects and characters in the pictures, describing what is happening in each scene and even telling a very simple story through what she created.
If you are a teacher of young children you will know how difficult it can be to plan activities for encouraging language development as most of it happens naturally through play and can be hard to measure or record, without sitting nearby with a notebook or dictaphone (both of which we have done at school!)
So, by simply annotating sticker scenes like this with the exact words spoken by the child, it becomes a wonderfully simple way to record and track language development and to illustrate the first signs of storytelling abilities.
Cakie is 32 months now and is not yet telling stories, but if you can see some of the ways she has described these scenes you can just see that she is beginning to understand how to describe with longer sentences, key details and some descriptive language. If I compare this to our Toddler Mind Maps (be sure to read about these if you missed this post!) it is easy to see how much progress she has made from just 6 months ago, when she was only using simple one and two word sentences to label her ideas.
I am storing these in a plastic document wallet and adding them in chronological order. She loves flicking through her picture book and talks about what she has done, adding another bonus of language development to the activity- recount!
As she gets older, she will be able to draw her own pictures and make her own stories and books. This is the stepping stone on the way to that future step in development.
This activity is good for:
* early literacy skills: descriptive language, retelling and recount, labelling and naming, simple storytelling
*simple and effective assessment method for tracking development
*creative and imaginative play