BY VICKI YADAV (GUEST WRITER)
Hello! I’m Vicki, founder of Primary Steps, an online consultancy for parents of 3-7 year olds. I am really excited to share with you a little bit about Story Scribing; a technique used in many Early Years and Infant settings, and a very easy thing for you to try at home.
What and Why?
Put simply, story scribing is recording your child’s stories for them. It is a really valuable opportunity to support children’s understanding of themselves as authors and to value the creativity and composition of writing – because writing is not just about being able to physically transcribe words. Story scribing is not an alternative to encouraging young children to make marks and write; rather it is a technique to use in addition to or alongside their mark making opportunities. With the pressure of the handwriting, phonics and grammar taken away, children are able to focus on just simply the telling of the story. They are able to become an author rather than needing to be a “writer”.
To begin with, I recommend modelling scribing your own stories. Have a special family story book and either tell your story aloud and write it down yourself or tell it to another family member to scribe for you. In order to model good writing habits it is important to say aloud each sentence before it is written down, record it and then regularly re-read what you have written to check it makes sense.
Find times within the week to share your stories as a family and to give the stories an audience. If you have enough family members you may also like to act them out! Once your child has observed you composing your own stories and either scribing them or
having them scribed, you can offer them the opportunity to join in. Be patient as for some children it may take them a while to feel confident in sharing their thoughts and ideas. This should be a relaxed, unpressured opportunity for your child to share their story rather than a planned and timetabled activity I recommend that you sit next to your child so they can see you recording their words.
It is important that you write exactly what they say, even if it is not grammatically correct, to show you value their words. To begin with, their stories may consist of only one sentence, i.e. ‘I played in the snow’ or even several single words. This is very common and you will see their ideas develop with time, experience and increased confidence.
Some children may like to help with the writing; that is great and welcome their enthusiasm but don’t worry if this is not the case – remember the main purpose is composition not transcription. My final tip for story scribing with your child is to make it fun! Children love silly stories;
they love stories which include family members and friends – best of all they love stories which include family members and friends doing silly things!
This is a chance for your child to experiment and explore the use of words and sentence structure and it has the potential to really help them fall in love with storytelling!