Monday, September 12, 2011

knock, knock..

Each playschool afternoon, just before we sit down for lunch, I tell a simple story...
I use a piece of silk or other fabric to set the scene; simple props and puppets are used; drawing from the playthings the children enjoy throughout the day.
I retell the same story for an entire month, which I feel is very effective.
Give it a try; do not be worried that the children will be bored (they won't!) or complain...
Retelling a story gives a child the chance to truly experience and digest the content!

This week's story was Knock, Knock by Ruth LeBar
(retell using your own details, etc,)
Once upon a time, in a forrest not far from here, lived a brown bear.
Every morning, he would rise and greet the sun outside of his comfy cave..
"I'm hungry!", Brown Bear thought!
Off he went through the glen to search for food, tramipity, trampity, trampity, tramp...
He stopped; sniffed the air..."what's that I smell?"
"Soup and bread baking?"
"And I hear children laughing! What a lovely time, I must join them!"
Off Brown Bear ran; through the glen, so excited he was!
He came to a small cottage in  a clearing and bounded through the front door..
"I'm here for soup, bread, and merry making!", he said.
The children yelled and hid behind their mother. They had never seen a bear inside their home before!
Mother was a bit cross at Brown Bear.
"Brown Bear!" she said, "You have scared my children by barreling through our door without knocking...please go home."
...Brown Bear left, feeling a bit sad. He returned to his comfy cave in the forrest and went to sleep.

...I continue telling the story with the same order of events in mind; Brown Bear always awakes and greets the sun, he always trampity tramps through the glen...
The next time he hears children playing with blocks, singing "happy birthday", etc. Create your own details!
Mother's response remains the same. She gently, but firmly tells bear that he must knock, and bids him home.
On Brown Bear's final trampity tramp through the forrest, he remembers to knock at the last moment. Mother opens the door and warmly welcomes him in for tea and honey. He has remembered to knock.
This is a wonderful story about action and "consequence"; something that is a growing experience for all children. Storytelling is an invaluable tool for teachers of any age provides an effective  and subtle vehicle for teaching life lessons.

                    For the little ones (ages 3-4), I recommend the following Grimm's Fairy Tales...
Sweet Porridge
My Household
Shoemaker and the Elves
Three Billy Goats Gruff



  1. Thank you so much for sharing these stories. My year old loves storytelling and puppetry and I've been searching for just the right stories for her age. I think repeating them is a great idea.

  2. thank you. this post could not have come at a better time. i bought a puppet theatre at the weekend and the children have been urging me to tell stories. but under pressure I have found this harder than expected! I will be telling this lovely story! Would love to know where you find your ideas for the stories!

  3. Okay, I JUST finished painting a wooden cave that I made for the littles. So how seredipitous is this? Gotta love that. Now,I wonder if I can wrangle that scroll saw well enough to make a bear...

  4. Great post!! I was wondering is there a set story for "My household", or is it just tales gleaned literally from your household?

  5. I was not familiar with the bear story -- a delightful story and delightfully told by you!!! Will be sure to try it out on my boys...

    Thank you

  6. What a sweet little story, and the little bear is adorable as well. This is a helpful post. Take care.

  7. I just had to laugh. Ruth LeBar was my kindergarten teacher and I was lucky enough to have her for two years.

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

  8. Sweet story! I'll have to tell this one to my son as he never knocks when entering our bathroom with the broken lock, much to my husband's annoyance! I'm in a slightly awkward stage as my youngest wants the repetitive simple stories and my almost 7 year old wants long more complex stories and no repeating. (sigh) I haven't worked it all out yet.


  9. I did a storytelling workshop which was so invaluable. It inspired me so much and the children really love it. One of my favourites is the enormous turnip.


I love to hear from you! I read and appreciate all feedback.. Thanks for stopping by!