While I was working with Amy and her assistant, Ben, in their preschool class, the teacher brought out a popular children’s book and called out “Story Time!”
Amy dashed over to the “story centre” and found a mat to sit on that gave her a close-up view of her beloved teacher. During story time, Amy looked down at her mat and she fidgeted with the snaps on her shirt. She eagerly raised her hand when the teacher asked a question. Her answer didn’t fit the story question. She was struggling with focus.
After “Story Time”, Ben asked “Why is it hard for Amy to understand stories? I read stories to her everyday at preschool.”
It was time to bring in some puppets as teaching tools for Ben to use with Amy:
Did You Know Puppets Can Read?
Think about when you were a kid.
Kids attend and listen to stories much better when puppets capture their attention and hold their interest.
- Puppets model “good listening skills” for stories for kids to copy.
- Kids enhance their understanding and memory of stories when they watch puppets act out the story parts they hear.
- Watching puppets’ actions that relate to the characters and events within a story helps children’s comprehension as kids benefit from looking at visuals.
It’s a huge reinforcer for kids to touch and use puppets while they recall, sequence and retell story events.
When I returned to the classroom, Ben was eager to show off Amy’s story progress. Ben brought out a puppet to demonstrate how well Amy attended and listened as Ben read one of her favorite books.
Amy beamed when the puppet praised her...
“I like how your hands are on your knees and your eyes are on me!”
Ben used the puppet to ask Amy questions about the story problem and solution as it acted out these parts.
She laughed as the puppet made animated comments about how one event in the story leads to another event. Amy even retold the story using a few puppets and pictures that she made at the craft centre as visuals.
She described the story setting, characters, events in the correct order and the ending.
The biggest improvement came once Amy’s teacher began to use puppets during “story time”. Amy’s attention was captured on her teacher as she read stories. She successfully answered story comprehension questions and retold stories including important story parts.
Amy loved it when the puppets acted out the stories! (and so did all the other kids)
Your story-time take-away.... Add in a puppet to capture your child’s interest while you share a book together.
To your Success with Creating Speech-Language Fun for Kids,