Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday Made It - Story Stones!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

I'm delighted to be linking up this week with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her fun weekly Monday Made It linky!




Have you seen story stones on Pinterest and Etsy? They are beautifully painted little rocks, created by artists as a children's activity for storytelling, retelling, and writing.  Several times, I've been tempted to buy a set, but been discouraged by my natural thriftiness cheapness.

So then I thought about painting my own, but even if I had better skills with a paintbrush, those detailed little paintings were going to take me a looonnngg time to do.

I wanted those stones! 

My first plan was to use an Ed Emberly book to make fingerprint critters and detail them with a Sharpie, but then I came across this Emberly book (Ancient! Copyright 1972! Personally, that's not sounding so ancient to me, and was quite a good year, as a matter of fact!) which set me off in a slightly different direction.





I started off with a bag of these smooth flat white stones from the craft aisle at the dollar store. Then I went into my drawer and pulled out a few of my many Sharpies (you already have a bunch of them, too, right?). I used fine point for the colors, and ultrafine for the black details.





Twenty minutes later (seriously!), this is what I had!




I love the easy details of the roller coaster drawing, but I think kids will go crazy for the superhero and the pirate!


Do NOT be intimidated! The book really makes each drawing so simple to do, and there are hundreds, maybe thousands to choose from in this book! These are the only shapes you'll need to complete ANY of the drawings., and the visual directions in the book really break it down into easy steps.







And the literacy touch is the flip side (literally!), which makes these an even more engaging addition to your writing center! A spritz of clear acrylic spray for protection on front and back, and your story stones are done. Put them in a bag or box, do a few whole class or small group demo lessons, and your story stones will become a hot item in your writing center!



My head is full of other ideas for story stones.  Illustrate a number model on the front, write the answer on the back. Draw landforms like lakes, mountains, etc. on the front, name them on the back. Create partner stones to use for matching and memory games - opposites, contractions, animal to name...   How about animal pictures to sort by class. So many ideas!!!

How will you use story stones?


For a peek into another great drawing book by Ed Emberly and some thoughts about empowering your little learners through art, check out this post!


Happy Teaching!








14 comments:

  1. I think the pirate is my favorite! Your stones turned out adorable! Thanks for sharing!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  2. They were so easy, Alison! Give them a try!
    Thanks for your comment. :)
    Linda

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  3. I think the superhero is my favorite although I am drawn to the pirate as well. I need to look into this book. I am not a good artist at all. I know your kids will love them.

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    1. I think you'll find the book to be a real confidence builder if you think your art skills are lacking, Jessica. It's a great way to get your students feeling more capable, too, by looking at the basic shapes that make up almost everything!
      Thanks for your comment!
      Linda

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  4. I'd completely forgotten about these--my own boys used to make these (15-20 years ago). Thank you for bringing back tons of happy memories. I love the Ed Emberly Drawing Alphabet--that's what me and my kiddos call it. Happy 4th.

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    1. Oldies bit definitely goodies, Kristine! Thanks for leaving your comment!
      Linda

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  5. I've never seen stones like that in store. Was it Dollar Tree? I'd love to pick some up! Thanks!

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    1. Yes, Catherine, it was Dollar Tree, earlier this year, perhaps January or February.

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  6. I adore story stones!!!! I made some years ago (I'm sure I even posted about it somewhere...lol) Love them! I am going to have to dig mine out for this year! Thank you for the reminder and for linking up:)

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    1. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in your fun linky again this year, Tara! I keep thinking of other ways to use story stones now ... how about "choose two and use them to write a math story problem"?
      Thanks so much for leaving a comment, Tara!
      Linda

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  7. These are so cute. I might make some for my granddaughters.
    Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your summer.
    Beti

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    Replies
    1. My grandchildren will be getting a set, too, Beti! 😃 Thanks for your comment.
      Linda

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  8. Love. Gonna buy book and do. Thanks for sharing!! Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom

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  9. Go for it! They're such fun to make and to use!
    Linda

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