Bilingual is Better

Cuéntame un cuento. Tell me a story. If your niños are like mine, this is something you hear all the time! With the help of this storytelling necklace, children can take a turn telling a story to you.

Pictures from a familiar story, beads and cord to string them on are all you need to do this activity. With the necklace, your child will be able to tell a story to herself and to family and friends. As they retell a story, children learning Spanish practice vocabulary, sequencing and pronunciation.

To make a necklace you will need small pictures of the story. You can draw them or use clip art. Click here to print pictures to use with Eric Carle’s Oso pardo, Oso pardo ¿Qué ves ahí? Most of the images are black and white so that children can color them. Click here for images to make a necklace to tell Ricitos de Oro y los tres osos.

Making a storytelling necklace

Print or draw pictures for a familiar story. Use card stock for a sturdier necklace and color them if you like.

Cut out the pictures. Pinch together the top corners and punch a hole through both layers.

Thread the cord through both holes. String the pictures in the order of the story, alternating the pictures with beads.

storytelling necklace stringing beads

Tie the ends of the necklace together and tell the story!

storytelling necklace and book

Using a storytelling necklace with children learning Spanish

- You can make a storytelling necklace for any familiar story. Stories with patterns work especially well. If the story is new, read the book to your child several times before you make the necklace.

- Have the book available as you make the necklace. Read together what happens and choose the image to put on the necklace.

- The necklace does not have to include an image for every detail in the story. For example, the images for Ricitos de Oro are los osos, la casa, Ricitos de Oro, un plato de sopa, una silla, una cama, los osos, un plato de sopa, una silla y una cama. The picture of the soup reminds children that the first bowl estaba demasiado caliente, the next estaba demasiado fría and finally la sopa estaba como a ella le gustaba.

- When the necklace is done, offer to tell your child the story using the necklace. Point to the images as you tell the story.

- When your child tells the story, she may skip pictures or talk about them in a different order. She may change the story entirely and make up her own. However she tells the story, it is good language practice. There is no need to correct or interrupt unless she asks for your help.

- Continue to read the book with the story to your child. The more familiar the story is, the easier it will be for her to use her necklace.

- Encourage friends and family to ask about her necklace and listen to the story. Friends can make the same necklace and they tell the story together. If friends make different necklaces, they can tell stories to each other.

Special thanks to Spanish Playground for providing this activity. Visit their site for more activities to teach Spanish to kids.

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