Story structure understanding. Promising Practice Example #1

Story structure understanding. Promising Practice Example #1

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Story structure understanding: Moving from classrooms’ dynamics environments to digital ones
Κατανοώντας τη δομή των ιστοριών: Η μεταφορά από τα δυναμικά περιβάλλοντα της τάξης στα ψηφιακά

Country: Greece

Age Group: 3 – 6 years

Content Area: 

  • Digital tools for fostering emergent literacy
  • Use of digital tools (devices/apps) as a playground for creative digital-based skills 


This project examines the implementation of a multilevel instructional method targeted to promote preschool children’s narrative skills following story grammar traditional patterns and digital ones.  In the first phase, children were trained to create their own fictional stories using cards depicting the structural elements of the stories and photocopied illustrated cards with crucial parts from stories they did not know (setting, theme, story episodes, resolution). In the second stage, children used the Web2 tools on the  Storyjumper website to create their own stories in the form of e-books. This program allows children to select images/props (scenes, characters)  that support their stories. 

In the second phase, the teacher created a story (as a model) using the props provided by the Web2 program. In the first two stories, the teacher used the computer without the children’s involvement. The aim was for children to observe the process, ask questions and understand how they can use Storyjumper to create a digital story. Τhen, in pairs, the children tried to create their own digital stories with the classroom teacher’s support.

Before the stories were created  the available scenes and characters (props) from the program were presented to the children and they were given ample time to familiarize themselves with them. Additionally, the children were reminded of crucial parts of story generation procedures e.g., their story should have a basic structure (like the one they had made using the cards) and it must be based on the seven structural elements of the stories (time, place, characters, problem/theme, plot episodes, resolution and the end of the story).  Subsequently, children discussed their stories following the above procedures and wrote them down in any way they could (drawings, invented spelling, conventional writing). After they completed their stories they chose appropriate characters and scenes from the Storyjumper stock to create their digital stories. The teacher observed the children’s efforts making comments when needed and/or reminding them to follow their original storyline. After children completed each  digital story they placed the characters in the correct frames, ordered the frames and characters according to the structural frame of the story, and presented their story to the whole class. Their peers evaluated each effort (structural sequence of story events and if the story was interesting and understandable) by giving them relevant feedback. 

Project Website: 

Project Materials/ Examples: 

  • “The shark and the mermaid” 

  1. The pirate’s story  

  1. The pink planet 



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