Literacy Beginnings: Narrative Talk

From Fountas & Pinnell’s Literacy Beginnings: A Prekindergarten Handbook

Earlier this morning, one of our little guys approached me on his way in: Mr. Taibi, my tooth is loose!  Do you know what that means?  It means that the Tooth Fairy will come soon!  I will put it under my pillow and she will leave me a surprise!

Narrative storytelling is what our children do naturally…they always have something to share!   Fountas & Pinnell state that “as teachers we usually think of stories in a traditional European way: a beginning, revelation of the problem, a series of events, the solution and ending.”  They also state that narratives following this structure can be simple or complex, but they are always predictable.  The use of storyboards is a fantastic way to support narrative talk as we develop instruction to support oral language.  This can easily be linked to a text and supports retelling routines as well!  The use of “shared experiences” (for example, what we did on the snow day) during morning message routines can also help solidify the narrative structure and can be formalized as an ongoing shared reading experience or as a rereading routine during stations (as part of the “big book” station)!

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