African culture is rich in folklore, with beautiful stories told over generations related to everyday experiences, animals, environment, and more. These folktales were traditionally used to explain things that people didn't understand, such as why the moon rises at night, or to explain why particular animals look and act the way they do.
Help your child tap into his imaginative storytelling skills by creating and writing a richly-embellished folk tale about his favorite member of the animal kingdom. Creative writing is a great way to boost his composition skills, not to mention his love of reading!
What You Do:
- To jog your child's creativity, try looking online at some African folktales. Discuss the components of each story, such as its parts, what it explains, and the type of language it uses.
- Invite your child to think of an interesting or favorite animal that he would like to write about. Suggest that he comes up with an animal with unique physical traits or odd behavior that would be entertaing to write and read about.
- Encourage your little storyteller to brainstorm a story about his animal of choice. Remind him that he will be explaining either a certain action that the animal engages in or discussing how it came to look the way it does.
- Supply your child with some scratch paper and ask him to begin writing his imaginative tale. If your child has trouble writing, feel free to let him dictate the story to you as you transcribe.
- Once you or your child have finished writing the folktale, help him assemble the book. Ask him to begin by folding pieces of construction paper in half, hamburger-style.
- He can then rewrite his story on the construction paper or cut and paste the story from the scratch paper onto the bottom of each page.
- After your child has gotten the print down on each page, he can move onto the fun part—illustrations! Encourage him to either draw in each scene with markers, crayons, or paints, or to cut out images that correspond to the story from magazines. He can create a collage or use a combination of hand drawings and cut-out images. He is the artist here, and the construction paper is his canvas!
- Once each page is complete with illustrations, have him create a front cover with a title, author, and images.
Urge your child to practice reading the story before he performs it for family and friends. As he practices reading and presenting his book out loud, he will improve his literary and speaking skills!