Life in a Coral Reef Story Tray

Children can find it difficult to re-tell stories and even harder to make them up.

This is particularly so if they have not had much experience with stories and story telling in the preschool setting.

There are a variety of ways to involve children with texts, and the use of “story trays” is one that not only spark an interest in reading but also involves much talk and discussion, which is why we include them in our curriculum!

A story tray is a tray containing a book, plus items associated with the story, which might include characters in the form of soft toys, felt pieces, or puppets.

There might also be a non-fiction book or a similar theme, which allows children to experience different types of text.

These items are used to help bring a story to life. They provide a visual and tactile stimulus that the children can use to take part in the telling or re-telling of the story. Children of all abilities enjoy using them but they can be particularly useful in helping children who are not interested in reading, for whatever reasons, to enjoy books. For this activity, we used a felt tray to re-tell the story of a book called Life in a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer. Each child was given all of the felt pieces in the story, and as they story was read, they would add different felt items to the tray. Some of these items included felt sea creatures and sea weed!

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