68 Brain-Based Early Learning Activities Intended Ages two years and older Brain Connections creativity, expressive and receptive language, divergent thinking Materials Needed • a journal, sketchbook, or other hard-bound book with blank pages or • make your own with blank paper and staples along the spine or • use a three-ring notebook My favorite story is always changing—it’s never the same story twice. In fact, there are no words written on the pages of this book. I found a book at a local bookstore that was bound like a hard- back book but had blank pages. I started out by telling the children I was going to read them a new story. I began to turn the pages and “read” the story. I had to explain that there weren’t any pictures in the book, but they could create the pictures in their minds. After I was done with the story, I showed them the book so they could see that the pages were blank. The children soon caught on that this was a fun way to create stories, and every time I read the story, it had a different beginning, middle, and end. All children feel successful when they “read” this book, because there are no actual words. It can be whatever they want it to be. Use the blank book as a prop to hold while you make up a story. If you need help coming up with story ideas, think about favorite stories you read to children and make up different charac- ters or different endings. Extension Activities After you tell one of your favorite stories, children can re-create the story in a book they will make themselves. Give children sheets of paper (heavy card stock is best) and provide a variety of materials to help them write and illustrate their pages. Once chil- dren are finished creating the pages for their books, you can laminate the pages to make them sturdier, or use a three-ring binder with page sleeves so that you can change and add pages later. You can also use a report cover to protect the pages so children can take their books home or add them to a portfolio. Con- tinue adding these books to your library. Multisensory Explorations Use different material to make the books, such as a quilt book made out of fabric or other types of materials. Diversity Adaptations Help children understand the value of passing on oral language traditions. Literature is avail- able about how the oral traditions of cultures around the world, including African Ameri- can, Creole, American Indian, Hispanic, and Asian cultures, ensure that stories not written down anywhere are passed through the gener- ations. Sharing these storytelling techniques with young children is a language-rich learn- ing experience. My Favorite Story! BBEL_final_interior.indd 68 2/16/10 3:46 PM