As first grade teachers told us that they were thrilled with the progress their children had made through Kid Writing, they asked how they could help the children's writing become EVEN BETTER! What a wonderful challenge! Once a child reaches the Phonetic or Transitional stage of spelling development, we encourage teachers to add craft elements to their mini-lessons to bring children's writing skills to an even higher level.
Tell-A-Story words are transitional words and phrases that help writers connect and sequence their thoughts logically and effectively. As children and teachers discover additional words and phrases in read-alouds and in the work of classmates, those words and phrases should be added to the Tell-A-Story board. When children USE them in their writing, they write their names on post-it notes and stick them onto the words or phrases used. It is this interactive procedure that encourages young writers to incorporate transitional words into their own writing. Of course, each use is celebrated!
Use of Tell-A-Story words is also encouraged as children retell stories to demonstrate reading/listening comprehension, explain processes used in solving math problems, and document science experiment procedures. In those instances, the basic transitional words (first..., next..., then..., finally...) are used.
A wonderful new read-aloud that incorporates many transitional words and phrases is A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley and Jim LaMarche. Some examples are "Through the years..., Sometimes..., Later..., After a while...". As you come across additional read-alouds with great transitional words and phrases, please share those titles with us so that we can share them with others.
For your convenience, we are providing some Tell-A-Story words and phrases in various fonts. Just click on each to download and print. Continue to scroll down to the very bottom of this page to find a classroom photo of an interactive Tell-A-Story display. If you look closely, you can see the children's post-its. Enjoy!