Tell me a story… games to step up kids’ Chinese

As we mentioned in a previous post, you can use the art of storytelling to help your children learn vocabulary as well boost comprehension. The activities in this post are going to require your children to use many different types of skills, too. You may even find them similar in concept to the activities we created for the comics.

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

Most of these activities are geared towards taking the idea of a story and helping your children tell either their own stories or retell stories they’re familiar with.


Story Prompt Activity (age 5+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pen/Pencil
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • You can use prompt lines or illustrations from the Basic Chinese 500 lessons.
  • Draw 2-6 lines for your kids to write a story.
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Read a short prompt (or ask your child a question). For example: What did you do in school today? Where do you want to go on summer vacation? Retell me the story of Cinderella.
  2. Depending on your child’s ability, ask them to write the story in their own words. If they don’t know a word, either ask them to write it in pinyin, or allow them to use your phone or a dictionary to see how to write it.
  3. When they’re done, have them read the story out loud.

 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on your child’s age, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by taking the following steps:

  1. The younger your child, the fewer sentences you require.
  2. To make it easier, you can provide a story they can retell. The more familiar it is, the easier it will be for them to retell.
  3. To make it easier, you can ask them a series of questions and have them answer them one by one to tell the story.
  4. To make it more difficult, you can provide only 1-3 word prompts instead of asking questions.

Story Book Activity (age 4+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper with either pre-printed/drawn pictures (you can either copy or draw your own. You can also try to do it with the Bunny's Adventure Comics.)
  • Pen/Pencil
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Optional: draw speech bubbles for each character in the panel
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Give your child all the sheets with pictures/illustrations.
  2. Ask your child to tell a story based on the illustrations and to write a sentence or two at the bottom of the picture.
  3. Staple all the pages together and have them read their “book” out loud to you.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by taking the following steps:

  1. To make the activity harder, you can include more scenic pictures vs illustrations with action.
  2. To make the activity easier, you can have very obvious actions in the pictures so that your child can simply tell you what is happening in the pictures.
  3. To make the activity easier, you can use fewer illustrations. To make it harder, add more illustrations.
  4. To make the activity easier, you can put the pictures in chronological order (or choose illustrations that can be put in chronological order) and have your child tell a story based on that.
  5. To make the activity harder, choose illustrations or pictures that have no discernible order and have your child make something up based on that.
  6. For multiple children, you can either have them write individual stories or have them write a story together.

Story Telling Activity (age 3+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道貝 
  • Story prompts or a story ideas
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Make sure you choose a story your child is familiar with, so that they feel comfortable re-telling it.
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Ask your child to tell you a story based on the prompts (eg: if the prompt is “dog,” have your child tell a story about a dog or has a dog in it) or re-tell you a story they’re familiar with (eg: Cinderella or Jack and the beanstalk).
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by taking the following steps:

  1. To make the activity harder, you can add more prompts for your child to include in the story.
  2. To make the activity easier, you can have your child re-tell a story they know instead of creating their own story.
  3. To make the activity interactive (and potentially hilarious), you can have the children take turns telling ONE sentence of the story and have the kids build on each sentence.

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Don’t forget: Nonfiction counts as stories, too.

How things are made, how things work, biographies, current events, and so many subjects can be told in story form. Use these more specific topics to introduce specialized terminology about the world we live in.

Why is nonfiction important? While learning about witches and dwarves and fairies might be more interesting, it’s a lot less useful in everyday life. Medical terms, country names, and even famous people – these are used a lot more in daily living and will prove to build confidence and competence in your children.

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