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WordGirl's Word of the Week: Legend

Have a fun week of storytelling with your kids!
on July 16, 2013
 

Often, superheroes and legends (noun, a story coming down from the past) go hand in hand. The stories of famous caped crusaders are told form one generation to the next and are a great way for families to bond. So, get ready to break out your favorite folktales!

Teach your children that a legend is a traditional story that is handed down over many generations. Find as many examples of legends as you can and share stories that have personal significance to your family. After that, try one or more of these great learning activities to help your children learn their new vocabulary word.

Activity 1: Read a legend. What better way to teach your child about a legend than telling a tale yourself? Everyone has his or her favorite folktale, so start with your personal favorite and share that with your child. Ask your child if he has a favorite legend and read that one, too. If you’re looking for a new legend to read with your child, try The Bunyans by Audrey Wood and illustrated by David Shannon. This fun take on the story of Paul Bunyan includes stories with the legend’s wife and two children. 

Activity 2: Write your own legend. After your child has enjoyed hearing a good legend, it’s time to write your own! When your child begins writing, encourage him to be as creative as possible. If he is having trouble coming up with an idea, have him start with a story about your own family. Try story starters like, “How did Grandpa lose his hair?” or “Where did our pet dog really come from?” 

Activity 3: Paint your story. Not every child is a writer, so if your child prefers to express his creativity with a paintbrush rather than a pen, try this legendary activity. Encourage him to portray through a painting a legend you’ve read together. Incorporate the major characters. If your child chooses Paul Bunyan, don’t forget his blue ox, Babe! Help your child create a painting that’s active and tells a story instead of simply a portrait of characters.

Activity 4: Turn a story into a song.  If it’s music your child loves, then help him write a legendary song to celebrate this word of the week. Some of the greatest legends have accompanying folksongs, so why not let your child take a crack at writing one, too? Let your child choose the instrument -- guitar, piano, or even a recorder -- and start with a simple melody. Once you have the tune down, write lyrics that tell the tale of your favorite legend or create an original story!

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Get the latest advice, tips, and resources on helping your child read at every age and every stage. Each week, find kids' book reviews, ways to extend the reading experience, and tips on how to spark a reader's interests from our expert contributors and editors.

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