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Story Dictation and Story Acting

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It is critical to help children generate language as part of literacy learning.  Story dictation and story acting is a structured way for children to generate and engage in language.  First children tell stories as an adult (teacher, aide, parent) records the story verbatim.  Then the children act out the story during an established in the daily schedule. 

As an introduction to the theory and practice of story dictation and story acting, the author Vivian Paley models and discusses these activities.  Watch the video (18:53) with the following note-taking protocol.  Then discuss key ideas as a group.  

Then read the following text Why do we do Story Dictation?  Read and discuss using text-rendering protocol to capture key ideas.

Story dictation can become a wonderful part of daily learning.  It can easily be integrated into center time.  Dictation can be managed by teacher, instructional aid, and/or classroom volunteers.  Please review two sample instruction that were developed by teachers to guide parent volunteers during story dictations.  (SAMPLE 1 and SAMPLE 2) Read, respond, and reflect which of these strategies might work in your context.  As an added resources, please review this implementation outline that addresses common issues and recommendations.  

Collaborative planning.  As this practice becomes more routine, consider how you could recruit volunteers to help support this practice in the room.  Then discuss and decide what guidelines you would use to inform classroom volunteers about the structures and routines of story dictation.  Write a letter to parents explaining the steps.  

Finally, complete the 3-2-1 protocol to capture thinking and learning about this topic.

Before next time, try story telling and story acting with a small group of students and be prepared to discuss experiences with colleagues.  




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These tools were created as part of the Literacy Improvement in Rural Education through Collaboration (LIREC) project funded by the U.S. Department of Education