Writing Words to Read Pictures

Delivery Method: 

Stories are different from descriptions. How can a teacher support the child trying to learn the elements that define a story, such as sequenced events that are caused by one another or that set the conditions for what follows? A child might draw a single picture and then use it to tell a story. "This is the princess locked in the tower. She gets out of that tiny window." The single picture helps the child remember the story, but as a single symbol to be read by others it only captures the condition of being in the tower, not the sequence of locked in and escaped out.

The teacher in this video has been working with a group of five-year-old children to create symbols that record a sequence of events and thereby tell a story, a pictorial storyboard. Using a sequence of drawings in this manner scaffolds the children's construction of events that cause or stage subsequent events, the pre-requisites for a good story. There is no particular intent to use this time for invented spelling, but the teacher decides to go with the children's idea to write instead of simply tell the story. Let’s look at this clip both for what it teaches us about invented spelling and for how a set of three drawings helps the children think about story structure. Your purchased download will include text that points out the significance of particular segments of the video and also includes a full transcript with time code. Runtime 3 minutes and 16 seconds