- large paper
- markers and crayons
- stuffed animals, dolls, or plastic animals
Objective: Children will engage in a dramatic-play and literacy activity that will encourage creativity, cooperative play, and language development as they write a group story and create sound to accompany it.
1 During group time, ask children to think about all the different kinds of sounds they hear when they are in their homes and when they are outside. Record children's responses.
2 Engage children in a conversation about different types of sounds. What are the sounds different types of vehicles make? Can they make the sounds of different animals? How about machines or tools?
3 Explain to children that they will write a group story and use all different types of noises that they have just described and imitated. Provide children with stuffed or plastic animals, dolls, or puppets. Ask them to choose a main character for their story that will set out on an adventure and encounter all of these different sounds. Will it be one person, a group, or an animal?
4 Invite one of the children to begin the story. Ask each child to add a part to the story, naming some type of object, person, or thing that creates a noise. Encourage each child to sound out the noise she is describing. Include the sound of the noise in the text of the story. Younger children may need extra help in creating a pattern for their story.
5 Reread the finished text to children. Have children create the sounds their character encounters. Invite one of the children to be the main character of the story. An adult or older child can be the narrator. The children can act out and sound out the part of the story they created.
6 Provide children with paper, markers, and crayons to illustrate different parts of the story. Engage children in choosing a title for the story. Write the text of their story in book format and include the children's illustrations. Invite families to listen and watch as children recreate the story in a special performance.
Movement: Quiet Noisy Charades. Ask children to create movements to accompany the different noisy things they wrote about in their story. Invite children to act out their motions without using sound. Can their friends guess what noisy thing they are representing?
This activity originally appeared in the May, 2000 issue of Early Childhood Today.