Short Story Activity
Just as kids need vocabulary to help them describe attributes, they also need vocabulary for describing position, direction, and relationships. Learning spatial relationships means beginning to understand right and left, top and bottom, under, between, in front of, behind, and other position and direction words.
Help your child learn these important vocabulary words and understand what they mean with this hands-on, exploratory activity that helps him learn spatial relationships through doing. As you read a story about a boy, a pumpkin, and his search for the perfect place to put it, he'll act it out with his own pumpkin. Everytime Andre moves his pumpkin, he'll move his pumpkin there too!
What You Need:
- Small pumpkin (or any other in-season fruit or vegetable)
- Circle Time Story: A Place for Pumpkin printable
- Key words printable
- Wagon (optional)
What You Do:
- Gather your story materials together: A Place for Pumpkins story and the key words sheet.
- Go outside with your child and select a good spot to be the vegetable garden in the story.
- Have him place his pumpkin or other fruit or vegetable in the "vegetable garden".
- Explain to him that you'll be reading a story about his pumpkin (or other vegetable), and encourage him to follow along with the story by acting it out with his pumpkin. When the story says he picked the pumpkin, for example, he should do the same with his real pumpkin.
- Now it's story time! Read the story about Andre's pumpkin, keeping a very slow pace so your child has time to act out Andre's actions as they happen. Place emphasis on the key words as they appear in the story, and make sure he understands each one before reading on.
Here are a few other things you can do everyday to help your child learn and understand spatial relationships:
- Take advantage of opportunities to talk about the position of people and objects.
- Model appropriate vocabulary. If he uses a word incorrectly, repeat the phrase or sentence using the correct term.
- Observe how he uses and responds to direction and position words. Make sure he is familiar with spatial vocabulary words.
- Watch as he draws pictures of himself and others. Are arms and legs shown coming off the trunk? Are facial features arranged appropriately? Remember that it's age appropriate for young kids to draw bodies and objects disproportionately.