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
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!