Li’l Stories Labs are in-class enrichment programs, collaborations with teachers at elementary schools, art organizations, libraries, and museums in New York City. Our labs reinforce classroom topics and nurture creative thinking, cooperative learning and digital literacy. Students engage in the collaborative process of creating and sharing a narrative. Labs can have a variety of outcomes from oral presentations to written narratives and story videos. We customize our labs to suit your curriculum and students’ needs. Contact us to learn about our pricing or to schedule a lab at your school or organization.

Li’l Stories Lab: Animal Study

GRADES K TO 2, 5 class storytelling unit, conducted over the course of 1 week

The Lab gives students an opportunity to create fictional animal stories while incorporating real facts they have gathered from research. Using the Li’l Stories storyboards, students will structure a visual story and engage in the collaborative process of researching a topic, and creating and sharing a narrative.
Goals: Students will produce clear and coherent animal stories while integrating some real facts.

Example: Team 211 tells animal stories

Li’l Stories Lab: The Tiny Seed

GRADES K TO 2, 5 class storytelling unit, conducted over the course of 1 week

The Lab introduces students to how a plant grows through the lens of Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed. Using the Li’l Stories storyboards, students will sequence a retell of the story highlighting the major stages of plant growth as well as create original stories.
Goals: Students will sequence and retell events from the book The Tiny Seed; Students will understand the general plant cycle and factors that influence growth.

Example: Team 211 retells The Tiny Seed

Li’l Stories Lab: Native Americans

GRADES 2 to 4, 5 class storytelling unit, conducted over the course of 1 week

This Lab introduces students to a specific story structure, pourquoi tales. Within the context of a Native American study, students use the Li’l Stories storyboards to visually structure their own stories and share them with the class.
Goals: Students recount pourquoi tales from Native Americans and use content information learned to collaboratively construct their own pourquoi tales.

Example: Team 405 tells Pourquoi Tales


Li’l Stories Labs at P.S. 3

Li’l Stories has been collaborating with P.S. 3 since 2014. Classes across the school have been using Li’l Stories for different curriculum units and learning goals.

Team 211 tells Animal stories

K class, school year 2016-2017

Team 211 participated in a 1 week long Li’l Stories Lab, where they collaborated, created, captured, and shared stories. Students researched an animal (Elephant, Lion, and Monkey) and created animal stories incorporating the facts they had gathered from their research. Students captured their stories through image and audio and shared their stories with their friends in class.

Check out Team 211’s animal stories

Team 211 retells The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

K class, school year 2016-2017

Team 211 participated in a 6 week long Li’l Stories Lab, where they collaborated, created, captured, and shared stories. Students retold a story by Eric Carle (The Tiny Seed, The Hungry Caterpillar, and The Greedy Python) and created original stories inspired by the book’s characters or events. They captured their stories using our Li’l Stories app and presented their stories to the class.

Check out Team 211’s stories

Team 211 captures Weekend News stories

K class, school year 2015-2016

Team 211 tested our Li’l Stories app. Students learned that if they wanted to share their drawings and other artifacts with friends online, they had to turn them into digital artifacts first. They used the Li’l Stories app to capture the weekend news stories they “wrote” earlier in the week: they took a photo of their drawing and then recorded their story. They were very excited to share their weekend news stories with their parents.

Check out Team 211’s Weekend News stories

Team 405 tells Pourquoi Tales

2/3 grade class, school year 2014-2015

Magnus Sweger used the Li’l Stories framework for the Native American/pourquoi tale unit: Students either created their own pourquoi tales or retold pourquoi stories they had heard in class. Students learned how to storyboard, edit, tell stories to friends or in front of the class and turn their visual and oral stories into readers theater dialogues. Magnus wrapped up the unit with a publishing party, where students shared their stories with parents and friends. Magnus’ feedback on Li’l Stories: “It helps students find their voice. They are working on how stories are put together. It helps them organize their thinking.”

Check out Team 405’s Pourquoi Tales

Team 211 tells stories

1st grade class, school year 2014-2015

Kelly Rosenblum has been a huge supporter of Li’l Stories. When we just started out in late 2014, she was open to “prototyping” Li’l Stories with her kids. We lead a series of storytelling workshops from November to January that taught students about collaboration, story elements like character and setting as well as visual and oral storytelling. Kelly’s feedback on Li’l Stories: “My students loved creating stories, drawing and telling them. They were engaged and didn’t even realize they are learning.”

Check out Team 211’s stories

Collaborations with the Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA)

Li’l Stories has been collaborating with CMA since early 2015. CMA is using the Li’l Stories tools in different ways—as brainstorming and planning tools in various art classes as well as custom activities.

Art Stories

Self-guided activity, since March 2016

“Art Stories” is a visual storytelling project that allows children to create their own stories inspired by artworks on view at CMA, and share them with friends, family, and the public. Children will look at artwork on view at the museum; make their own visual storyboards to tell a tale inspired by what they see; capture their stories through image and audio in the Media Lab and share their creations through presentations of selected stories on social media and documentation online.

Girl Stories

March 2015

Emily Collins, the teacher of Girl Stories—a free program for girls ages 12-15, who are interested in telling their stories through filmmaking, animation, and comics—used a custom version of the Li’l Stories storyboard for the brainstorming and planning phase of a collaborative animation project. The girls created an “I remember …” poem, consisting of 12 sentences with each girl contributing one “I remember …” line. They used the boards to plan their scenes and materials. Then they created animations of their poems based on their storyboards.

Puppet Stories

February 2015

In the art colony Puppets on Film, Katya Buslo used the Li’l Stories framework to introduce her students to collaborative storytelling. Students brainstormed and planned in groups of 3-4 kids the story of their puppet films.

More about the Puppets on Film art colony on CMA’s blog.

Other Collaborations and Labs

Li’l Stories runs labs throughout the year at conferences and in schools. We collaborate with teachers and create custom materials for their specific curriculum needs.

Li’l Stories at P.S. 261’s Arts Day

1st grade class, school year 2016-2017

On March 10th, 2017, Li’l Stories participated in P.S. 261’s Arts Day, a day-long, school-wide celebration of the arts with hands-on workshops presented by a working artist, arts assemblies and a school-wide arts project. We worked with 1st grade class 210: in groups of two, students created original stories inspired by the characters of the book Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst and shared their stories with the class.

Check out Class 210’s stories

Story adaptation for shadow puppetry residency with ArtsConnection

2nd grade classes, school year 2015-2016

Li’l Stories collaborated with teaching artist Rima Fand, who is using a custom version of the Li’l Stories storyboards as part of BRIDGES, an ArtsConnection residency exploring literacy through puppetry with early childhood in 2nd grade classes at PS 153Q.

In BRIDGES, students created adaptations of the Chinese folktale “The Fourth Question” to be performed as shadow puppet plays. Each small group of students created an original scene in the story, for which they created puppet characters, props, and scenery, and which they eventually performed before an audience of students and parents. Rima said: ” The storyboards were a wonderful tool for the students, in particular the English language learners, to be able to map out their story ideas in sequence, and to be able to visualize the characters and settings.” Teachers later went on to use the storyboards in their literacy unit on “Charlotte’s Web.”

Check out PS 153Q’s storyboards

Li’l Stories at the Play and Learn Children’s Festival

Brooklyn School Alternatives Conference 2016

On June 5th, 2016, Li’l Stories facilitated one of the activity tables at the Play and Learn Children’s Festival—an interactive event with a wide range of engaging learning experiences and playful activities for kids attending the Brooklyn School Alternatives Conference. Children had lots of fun creating and sharing stories inspired by their favorite characters.

Check out the stories kids created