Good readers need to be able to recall and retell story events in order to understand what they are reading. A fun way to practice these skills with young readers is to create a story prop bag. They are super easy to make! Before reading the story to kids you gather a bunch of items that are found in the story and put them in a bag.
Then when it’s time to read you pull out the items one by one for the children to look at, touch, and think about. The kids use the props as clues to make predictions about the story. As more of the props come out of the bag the kids can change and modify their predictions and to help their brains ready to read and remember the new information.
You then use the props as you read to help tell the story and give the kids time to interact with the different items. After reading the kids use the props to retell and act out the story. This is not only fun to do, it helps kids make connections about the text and develop comprehension skills.
More Uses for Story Props:
The story prop bag can then be given to the kids for pretend play where the learning can be extended further.
Older kids can use the story props to practice summarizing stories, writing their own story questions, and analyzing story elements.
It’s fun for parents to put together a story prop bag when they go in to read to their kids classes. (That’s what my husband did when he read If You Give a Moose a Muffin to my daughter’s kindergarten class this year.)
Kids can put together a story prop bag to demonstrate their understanding of a story they have read.
Families can make a bag to kids excited about a new challenge such as going to the dentist or starting school. Finding a book and putting together the prop bag helps a child gain confidence and become familiar with new situations.
Babysitters can bring a story and a prop bag with them when they are babysitting to help break the ice with new kids are get them interested in a new story.
Story prop bags are a fun way to get kids to interact with text and encourage pretend play. Have you ever used one when reading to kids before?