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Picture Tales Lesson Plan

Picture Tales
An Adapted Activity
From the book: Show Me a Story by Emily K. Neuburger
Emily Neuburger, Show Me a Story (Massachusetts: Storey Publishing, 2012), 89.
Creating stories is a wonderful way for children to allow their imagination to take shape
Sometimes, however, starting the story process can be difficult and prompting may be
needed. Picture Tales is a great way to start the process as it integrates the use of preselected and laminated picture cards to help facilitate story development.
First, dedicate a table space or center that can be marked off or divided into five
The space does not have to be large, but should have room for the necessary materials:
● Five baskets marked who, what, when, where, why with corresponding laminated
● A diverse collection of laminated pictures from a variety of sources
● Paper, pencils, and crayons for story writing and illustrating
● If desired and available, a technology device for picture tale photo and/or oral
story recording
● File bin for story submission
● One file folder for each student, labeled with the student name
Make sure that each of the 5 baskets has the correct set of picture cards. Allow
students time to work with the cards to mix, match, and sort images into each of the five
sections to create their own picture tale. Once the students settle on the five images of
their choice, it is time for the pictures to become the foundation of their story. Students
can write and illustrate their story and turn it in by placing it in their labeled folder for
conferencing at a later time.
For students who need more help with the writing process, there are several options for
1. The student can use technology to capture a picture of the tale for a scheduled
writing conference with the teacher.
2. The student can record an oral story for transcribing to print during a writing
3. The student can collect their five cards and place them into their assigned picture
tale folder in the file bin of the center or on the table.
4. The student can be paired with a peer for dictation help for story development
from the card prompts.
Over time, students will want to create their own picture cards for the center. This
creates added interest in the center and becomes a motivational buy-in. The submitted
student-generated pictures should always be reviewed and discussed. In some cases, if
the image is not obvious, a word notation might need to be added for clarity of concept.
Quick Note: This activity can be paired with any of the creative extension activities
found in Show Me a Story, by Emily K. Neuburger.