Story Workshop is a classroom structure we are developing at the Portland Children's Museum to support language and literacy. We are finding that the use of materials such as clay, paint, drama, or block building can play an integral role in language development, and strongly support children to see themselves as storytellers and authors.
This happens for example, when a child is playing at the water table, and imagines or remembers a story. As the child continues to play and explore his story, he may consider more details, the sequence may become stronger and the language the child uses to tell the story becomes more clear and powerful. The story can come alive!
We are inviting the children to explore the classroom in search of their stories. We are wondering together: Where do stories live? What stories do the materials inspire? When using the materials, what memories are awakened? We set up spaces and materials to inspire and entice children. Materials like blocks, paint, water, sand, colored pencils and collage become the vehicles for the children's stories.