Today we are fortunate to share an app and storytelling activity designed with kindergarteners in mind.
Kindergarteners love the book Hug by Jez Alborough. The picture book tells the story of a little monkey in search of a hug from his “mummy.”
Along the way, the monkey meets many animal friends who help him in his search. In the story, the monkey feels hopeless, his animal friends show empathy, and finally everyone rejoices when the baby monkey and his mother reunite for a hug. It’s a lovely story that elicits many thoughtful observations from kindergartners and adults alike.
Here’s a storytelling lesson that is inspired from Hug to teach kindergartners narrative writing as part of composition. Since kindergartners are emerging writers, combining audio and pictures to create a narrative can help to engage even the most reluctant of storytellers.
Primary Learning Goal
Listen and retell a narrative through writing, pictures, and voice.
Secondary Learning Goal
Follow auditory directions. Use prediction to help retell the story (what happens next). Identify feelings and show empathy by acting the story out.
What You’ll Need:
1. A copy of Hug
2. The Kid in Story Book Maker app
3. An iPad
4. Download the *.kis template entitled Hug inspired by Jez Alborough and open in Kid in Story Book Maker
5. Watch the Kid in Story Book Maker demo to learn how to create a book.
6. One child and 5+ toys (dolls, stuffed animals, action figures) or 6+ children
1. Read the story Hug by Jez Alborough.
2. Ask the following questions:
• Who is in the story?
• What animals did the monkey meet?
• What were they doing?
• Who was the monkey searching for?
• What happened when the monkey found the animal he was searching for?
3. Open Kid in Story Book Maker and show the Hug template to your child/children. Invite them to retell the Hug story by acting it out using Kid in Story Book Maker.
4. The *.kis template changes the main characters from the monkey and his mother to Sarah and her best friend Willie. Determine who will play Sarah, who will play Willie, and who will play the animals they meet. Children can get creative and play more than one character. It’s fun for them to try on many roles.
5. Read each page aloud or if there are children who can read, have them read aloud. Take a picture of the child (or children) in front of a white wall for easy editing. Insert the picture of the child into the story.
6. Once all the pictures have been inserted into the story, have the children retell the story in their own words and record them page by page. Some children may read the story as the template is written and others may improvise. If they improvise, you can change the text to reflect what they say.
7. Click “done” to save your story. Now you can read the story you created together.
Kid in Story Book Maker App Tips
• In the beginning, you will lead and direct your child for the first few pages. Suggest changing roles and have your child direct you, take your picture and insert you into the story.
• Dress up, use puppets, or put on silly hats and masks to make the story more interesting and engaging for your child/children.
• Don’t forget to use the modify button to reposition your child in the story and to scale bigger or smaller. Children LOVE this feature because this helps them to direct the story instead of being passive participants.
• Share your custom story by email or Dropbox with friends and family! In order for them to read your custom story on the iPhone, iPod, or iPad, they will need to download the FREE Kid in Story Reader. Watch the demo and learn how to share a custom story.
Sample Writing Prompts
In additional to writing a digital narrative, you can extend this activity by drawing pictures of and writing about hugs. Here are some sample writing prompts or you can create your own. Find pictures online (Google image search) to complement the writing prompts below. Depending on your child’s writing ability, you may choose to have them dictate their response to you. If this is the case, you can use a highlighter to write their response and they can trace over the highlighter. Or you can write their response with a pen and they can copy it on their own paper with a pencil.
• Describe the oldest person you have ever hugged. What is their name? How old do you think they are What did it feel like? What were you doing with this person? (Google search “seniors hugging”)
• Your sister, brother or cousin is swimming in the pool and sees you sitting on the pool deck. They climb out of the pool to say hi and give you a big, full body, and wet hug. What happens next? (Google search “child swimming”)
• Imagine you just learned to ride your bicycle for the first time without any training wheels. You are so excited to tell someone special. Describe the person who you tell and describe the hug they give you. (Google search “child riding a bike”)
• A classmate is sad and sitting alone. What are 3 things you can do to turn that frown upside down? (Google search “lonely child”)
Anna Johnson is a mom, wife, marketer, special ed supporter, congenital heart defect advocate, iPad devotee and EdTech believer. She works in marketing at Enuma®. Enuma® designs exceptional learning tools to empower children – including those with special needs – to be independent learners.