I recently checked out the book Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd from our local public library. As I read it numerous times to my two boys, I realized this would be a perfect book for story retelling in the Montessori classroom. So I set to work creating some props to go along with the story which I will share with you here.
Here is the book. A brief synopsis is as follows: Dog goes out and about, bumping into various things that leave colored dots on his fur. By the end of the story, Dog has a total of 10 colored dots on his fur which are eventually washed off in the bath (except for his original black dot on the ear.) I like that this story reinforces both color recognition and counting within a very realistic storyline. I have added a link for the book on the Amazon sidebar. There are other "Dog" books by Emma Dodd as well. I plan to check them out to see how well they would work for a storytelling activity.
I apologize for how dark and fuzzy these photos are. I swear I am going to get rid of my Kodak EasyShare. It is very unreliable. Anyway..........I just found pictures to go with all the things Dog runs into in the story. Additionally, I found pom-poms in each of the 9 colors that are in the story. And I just kind of free-hand drew Dog on white craft foam with a black Sharpie marker.
I plan to first introduce this activity by reading the story aloud at line time. For the first reading, I won't use props at all. On another day, I will have the children help retell the story using the props. The "helper" of the day will hold the book while I read. Then I will pass out either a picture card or pom-pom to all the other children. This will actively involve 19 of the 20 children I would have on any given day. I plan to add a little sponge to the activity so that the 20th child can use it to "wash" Dog at the end of the story. That way, all children will be able to participate equally in the retelling. So, as I read the story, the children will bring up the appropriate pictures. For example, Dog's first spot (the red one) results from red jam dripping on him. As I read that page, the child with the jam picture will bring it up. Then the child with the red pom-pom will come up and place it on Dog to represent his red spot. (NOTE: I thought about using felt circles, but I was afraid they would too easily be lost. Then I thought of using the pom-poms. However, the felt circles would work just as well.) We would continue through the story until all the pictures and spots are used. Then the child with the sponge would wash Dog to get all the spots off.
Even though story retelling is a language activity, I am planning to place this work on the Sensorial shelf since it primarily focuses on colors. After we have done the retelling activity a few times as a group during line time, I will place all the materials on the shelf for children to choose either on their own or with a friend. Depending upon interest, I may or may not have it out all year. Now that I have pulled this activity together, I will be on the lookout for more stories that lend themselves to this type of material.