Inspired by the perfect simplicity of Teach Beside Me’s story starter blocks, I grabbed a sharpie and made a few blocks of our own today. The kids called out nouns and verbs to me while I tossed in a few personal favorites.
Since I wanted the structure to be a little more open-ended (i.e. not taking the form of complete sentences but rather giving the subjects, objects, scene, and action while allowing the storyteller to string it all together), I used the blocks as follows:
YELLOW BLOCKS – Characters and nouns. Our favorite characters, the ones we can’t imagine stories without, included Max, Micah, Milla, Alina, Patrick, Vanilla the dog, a tick, a fairy, a frog, a knight, a robin, Johann S. Bach, a magician, a nerd (I love nerds and geeks and dweebs and others of my stripe), a goat, a giant, a ninja girl (Max thought of his friend Micah with this one), a uniorn, Grand Bunicu, a clown, a prince named Honored, Einstein, Queen Mab, and an alien.
RED BLOCKS – Verbs and action words. The actions we loved most includedmakes, promises, battles, runs, tickles, loves, climbs, forgets, prays, goes, leaps, wanders, eats, gives, ponders, dances, forges, and finds.
GREEN BLOCKS – Places, locations, and scenes. Our personal must-haves included the circus, the beach, a pond, church, an old house, a tower, an island, a road, a castle, a canoe, a crib, a garden, a magic mask, a thimble, a car, a spaceship, a key, and a rope.
BLUE BLOCKS – Objects, things, and story props. We included a bag, yarn, bubbles, a piano, a box, a bush, a tree, a crown, a wand, a song, a toilet, a can, a pen, a ball, an eye, an egg, a gadget, and a toe.
So far, I love the story seeds we are planting.
Ninja girl makes eggs on the beach.
Or ninja girl makes a beach with an egg.
Bach eats a crown.
Rather than lose our blocks right away, I stitched together a little story block bag from a table napkin.
Just fold the napkin in half longways and cut a 8 inch folded piece. Turn it inside out and stitch the sides together, leaving a hole at top for the bag. Then roll down your fabric once (still inside out) and stitch it down all the way around to hem raw edges. Then roll it one more time leaving a larger amount of space (large enough to thread some twine or a fabric belt through) at the top. Stitch all the way around, leaving a 2 inch hole to thread your twine through it. There are so many variations on this simple little bag stitch… as many variations as the stories you can tell and the adventures you can serialize and continue with story blocks.