Li’l Stories is a language arts framework that guides students through the collaborative creation and sharing of a visual narrative. We use storytelling as a platform for learning across multiple content areas: by building narratives around the subjects you are covering in class or at home, students are deepening their learning and making the ideas their own. And they love it, are engaged and practice creative thinking, collaborating and expressing themselves.

Part 1: Create and Tell Stories

Li’l Stories combines oral tradition with a visual creative process to engage students in collaborative storytelling. Storyboarding helps students structure their narratives and organize their thinking. Using our Li’l Stories storyboards, students first define their story elements, or inputs, then they collaboratively create the story through drawing and writing. They learn about story elements, story structure and sequencing. After creating their stories, students tell them to their friends or the class. The prioritization of oral language skills builds the foundation for solid literacy skills in the future. Students learn to listen, articulate and communicate their ideas and practice public speaking.

Part 2: Capture and Share Stories

Li’l Stories embraces students living in a connected world, building off trends in online social networking. In order to share our creations, work and ideas with a wider audience online, we need to digitize them. Using our Li’l Stories app, students capture their stories through image and audio. This is another opportunity for students to practice telling their stories. Teachers can upload the students’ stories to the class website for sharing with family and friends online.

Project and Activity Ideas

Li’l Stories was developed and tested in collaboration with New York City elementary school teachers. Here are a few activity ideas that proved especially successful—and popular—in the classroom.

Story Creation

  • Introduce story elements and various story structures through retell and story adaptations of books, movies, fairy tales and legends, etc.
  • Explore various story structures through the creation of original narratives surrounding specific content areas, like social studies and science topics.
  • Brainstorm and plan original ideas for larger projects and writing pieces.
  • Contextualize and practice new vocabulary through the storytelling process.

Story Share

  • Oral storytelling and sharing of ideas within small and whole group settings
  • Through the Li’l Stories App, students can connect and share their work with family and friends outside of the classroom.
  • Celebrate students’ works with storytelling parties or performances of complete creations.

Story Outcomes

  • Oral Presentations: The storyboards themselves serve as visual stories that students can use as a tool to articulate and share their ideas with the class.
  • Written narratives, Reader’s Theater, puppet show, animations/films: The storyboards can serve as a brainstorm or idea board for long-term projects.
  • Story Videos: Through the Li’l Stories app, students learn to participate within a connected world of online sharing and networking of ideas as they digitally capture their stories.

Assessment

  • The storyboards and digital capture allow for multi-dimensional assessments of students’ with diverse learning styles – visual, auditory, and read or write learners.
  • The storyboards are flexible and allow for integrated contents, which authentically demonstrates students’ understandings.

Getting Started

Li’l Stories is a natural fit for the classroom, designed to work with most curriculum units or to function as a standalone storytelling unit. Download our starter kit or try one of our lesson plans to get started.

Li’l Stories Starter Kit

Our starter kit includes everything you need to get started: Teacher’s Guide, Activity Ideas, Curriculum Map, and Storyboards for Grades K-2 and Grades 1-4. All you need is a printer, 11” by 17” sheets of paper and markers.

Li’l Stories Starter Kit

Li’l Stories Labs

Would you like us to tell stories with your class? Schedule a Li’l Stories Lab: students engage in the collaborative process of creating and sharing a narrative. Our Labs are tied into a classroom’s curriculum and can have a variety of outcomes.

 Li’l Stories Labs

Lesson Plans

Our sample lesson plans utilize custom materials to guide students through a collaborative story creation process as it fosters critical thinking and analytical skills. The lessons are designed to be taught independently or integrated into an existing curriculum unit.

Lesson Plans

PD Workshops

Would you like to learn more? Schedule a Li’l Stories for Educators Workshop at your school. Our professional development workshops introduce classroom teachers and school staff to the Li’l Stories framework and approach to learning.

PD Workshops