Aim: Children will use their expressive-language skills to write imaginary stories.
In Advance: Look through magazines with your children for pictures of animals. When they find interesting ones, they can cut or tear them out with your assistance.
Gather your children at a table. Begin by asking them about the animals with which they are familiar. Then you might ask, "What if these animals could talk? What might a dog say when she's sad? What could a cat say when he's hungry?"
Display a magazine picture of an animal with an interesting expression or in an unusual situation. Encourage children to use their imaginations to tell you what this animal might say if it could talk.
Put the magazine pictures on the table and let each child choose one. After they glue their pictures to drawing paper, invite them to think about what the animal they have chosen might be saying. Encourage them to dictate their animal's "speech" to you. When finished, read their words back to them.
Things You Might Ask:
Which parts of the picture helped you figure out what your animal was saying?
Extension: Provide materials such as small paper bags, fabric scraps, buttons, and glue for use in making "talking" animal puppets. Put on informal puppet shows with one another.