Un dragón, un par de zapatos rojos, una manzana. We pulled these words from our story jar the other day and I ended up telling the story del dragón al que le encantaba el color rojo over and over.
Not every story is the hit that el dragón was, but a story jar adds a bit of randomness and fun to storytelling. It is a jar with words on small pieces of paper, folded so you cannot see the word. Someone draws two or three words and the storyteller incorporates those elements into a story. I have lots of colored scrap paper from preschool Spanish projects, so our story jar is pretty bright. The unrelated words you draw give a little inspiration, and challenge, to the storyteller and add an element of anticipation for the listeners.
In our jar, we put in words like these: lluvia, un dentista, un elefante, un gatito, el color azul, una isla, un teléfono, una princesa, nieve, el número 15, monedas de oro, un avión, una ballena, un circo and lots of other characters and objects.
When we pulled out un dragón, un par de zapatos rojos, and una manzana, the story was of a dragon that loved the color red. He only had red clothes, red toys, red food, red crayons and red paint. That is, until he met a neighbor who loved yellow…
Telling these stories is a creative activity. If you are the storyteller, you can add patterns and sequences. The same characters can reappear in the stories, so that the storytelling jar starts to take on a life of its own. As always, if the little ones like a certain story, be prepared to tell it over and over!
Listening to stories and telling their own, children learn to structure a narrative. They also practice important language skills like describing, sequencing and cause and effect. We have a wonderful time with this simple activity. It is fun to tell the stories, very entertaining to listen to them and an excellent way to build Spanish language skills.
Special thanks to Spanish Playground for providing this activity. Visit their site for more activities to teach Spanish to kids.