Greetings, families! This week, we join the Sea Turtles, a group of three-year-olds at the Preschool, as they explore the art of storytelling. Storytelling in early childhood is crucial to literacy development later in life. Younger learners build listening, speaking and comprehension skills while building confidence that their words and stories matter. I’ll let their Head Teacher, Amanda DiMeo, tell you more:
Over the past few weeks the Sea Turtles have continued to demonstrate their aptitude for imaginative storytelling. Whether through narratives or theatre, the Sea Turtles are always looking for a good story to tell. Most recently they have shown an interest in wordless picture books, such as Journey, by Aaron Becker. Wordless picture books are exactly what the term implies: books that tell a story without printed text. Their beautiful and detailed illustrations provide the perfect spark for creative narratives.
The Sea Turtles were ecstatic to learn that Journey is part of a trilogy. The trilogy includes: Journey, Quest and Return.
Through this lens, we have begun to examine the methods through which a story can be told. During our study of The Three Little Pigs the Sea Turtles devoted their time to studying the composition of words and narrative structure. Now seems like the perfect time to begin digging deeper into how stories can be told through art…
During assembly we took some time to categorize our books through their methods of storytelling. In the end we concluded that we had a small number of wordless picture books (using only art to tell stories), many books that had words and art, and only one or two books that had only words. In fact the Sea Turtles’ edition of The Three Little Pigs was a book that told stories ONLY through words!
One student had an idea -…“Why don’t we tell The Three Little Pigs with a pen?” (meaning through art)
Fortunately Eli was ready to jump into action and act as resident illustrator as the Sea Turtles directed!
A few days later Amanda then drew the Sea Turtles’ attention to an illustration in Return:
In this illustration, hieroglyphics, or etchings, can be seen on the cave walls. These pictures within the pictures tell the entire story of the Journey trilogy!
This sparked a deeper conversation about hieroglyphics: Where do they come from and what do they mean?
Since this conversation, the Sea Turtles have been exploring hieroglyphics through photos and videos. Our preliminary understanding of hieroglyphics is that they were popular a “really, really long time ago” by people with “special tools for drawing on caves and rocks” and “they also probably took a long time to make.”
The Sea Turtles even tried their hand at drawing their own hieroglyphics:
Their first attempts at storytelling through art were a success, but every day brings new ideas and directions. We can’t wait to see what happens next!
Sea Turtle Head Teacher