8.11.2010

My Budding Storytellers

As part of our language arts curriculum this year, I've decided to try Language Lessons for the Very Young (LLVY) by Sandi Queen. Though we've so far only done two lessons, I think I'm going to like it; the girls already do. I'll write a review some other time - once we've got a few more lessons under our belts. For today, though, the girls have made a special request: they asked me to post the stories they narrated in connection with today's LLVY assignment.

We'd done a brief picture study of this painting yesterday.

Then each girl's task for today was to narrate a story based on the picture. So I pulled out the laptop and typed away for each of them individually.

Now, they both have amazing imaginations so I had no doubt they'd enjoy the endeavor. I also knew their stories were likely to branch well beyond the picture itself. But, because these were oral narrations, we won't put them through the writing process to bring them back off their rabbit trails. No, we'll just let them stand as-is, testaments to the girls' current, sweet storytelling abilities - complete, of course, with the additional illustrations they begged to include.

So read. And enjoy. I will be sure, of course, to pass on any feedback to the authors themselves.

*****

The Sack of Potatoes
by Abigail (Age 8)

Long ago and far away in a village high on a mountaintop, a little girl was born. Her parents were very wealthy, and they gave her everything she wanted. When she was three years old, her parents gave her a baby border collie. When she was 10 years old, the border collie was very big and chased her all around the house.

One day, the little girl was playing outside with a ball. She bounced the ball into the neighbor’s yard. She knew she wasn’t supposed to go into there, but she wanted her ball so what she did was go run towards the fence. On her way running over to the fence, she banged into a tree. Her parents brought her inside; she had a big bump on her head.

The neighbor woman was really a witch, and when she found the girl’s ball there, she cried, “How dare that girl throw her ball into my yard!”

The witch tramped down her lawn and threw open the gate to the girl’s house. She burst into the girl’s house looking all around. Luckily, the girl was on an errand with her mother and her father was at work. All she found was the border collie, and she decided to punish the girl for throwing the ball into her yard by taking away the border collie.

When the girl got back and couldn’t find her dog, she began to get frantic. She asked the neighbor woman where it was, and the neighbor woman said, “I am a witch! And I have your dog, and I won’t give it back!”

And then the woman thumped the girl in the head with a book. The girl said, “Ow!” and decided to get even with the witch. So what the girl did was, at night, she broke into the old witch’s house, and then she pushed the witch off of her bed. And then the witch said, “Abracadabra!”

And the girl found herself tied up in the witch’s basement in a pile of potatoes. She could not get loose, and then she saw her border collie. Her border collie was chained to the wall and barking furiously trying to bite the chain off. Her border collie then broke his tooth on the chain.

Meanwhile back in the house, her parents were getting frantic about her and they started looking all over the house. The father looked in the basement and in the closet; he banged his head on a shelf, and a big bump got on his head. Then the mother started scolding him. The mother looked in the bedroom and in the yard, but she could not find her girl.

Then both of them asked the neighbor woman. The neighbor woman said she was locked up in the basement. Then the parents attacked her. Then they went into the basement and found her and her border collie. Her parents were very excited to see her, and they took her home, the border collie home, and all the potatoes, too. And then they lived happily ever after.


*****

The Brave Knight
by Rachel (Age 9)

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl named Julie. Now she wasn’t any ordinary girl. She was a princess. And she always got everything she wanted so she was kind of spoiled, just as all princesses are.

Now, she had a border collie to protect her from any witches or trolls. She didn’t see her mother very much because her mother was often off at fancy parties. And the only time the little girl ever really saw her mom was in a picture with a golden frame hanging on a wall by the parlor.

One day, she was playing in the palace garden, and when she played in the garden, she often wondered what was in the trees beyond the gate. Now she never dared go near the gate because she heard her parents say there were goblins and trolls in the forest. And, besides, she was only five. And, besides, you know how all princesses are: they hate trolls, who are smelly and stinky.

One night, as she lay in bed listening to her parents talk and listening to the owls hoot around the palace, she couldn’t stop thinking about what could be beyond that gate in the forest. The next morning, she was in a terrible, crabby fit because she had stayed up way too late last night thinking about trolls and then had a scary dream.

And, right as she had woken up from a scary dream, thunder struck and she started to cry. And then she got freaked out because of the grandfather wooden owl on the clock. And then she ran downstairs and asked her dad to come up with her. It took hours to get her back to sleep. Her dad was very displeased with her, too; he was very tired, too, from staying up holding her hand.

Every day, the princess had little piano lessons in the parlor. And she always went out after her piano lessons. One day, she decided she couldn’t stand it any longer, and she went on the other side of the gate! And she always wore a sunbonnet when she went out to play.

She thought, since it was shady in the forest, she ought to take it off. And then she hung it on a low-hanging branch. She thought she would just pick it up after she was done playing in the forest. But, when she came back, she found that a mother bird and a father bird had made a nest in her hat. And at that very second, a big, ugly troll jumped out from behind a tree and grabbed her!

She screamed bloody murder! Fortunately, her dog, the border collie, had been walking with her. Now, since she was a princess and they lived in a magic land, the dog could talk and started bounding towards the castle. And the troll ran away with the screaming princess.

When the dog got to the palace, he ran immediately to the king and explained what had happened. When the king heard about what had happened in the forest, he was furious and sent a dispatch of guards to search for the little princess. But, when the band of knights came back, only one of them was left. He explained that they had seen the little princess with the goblin running through the forest, but they had all been smashed by a falling tree in the forest. He only escaped.

Now the only prince in the land who could find the goblin was Prince Herriot, who was not much older than the princess. Immediately, the prince started off towards the forest. When he got to the goblin’s lair, he found that the whole place was heaped with food, including turkey, venison, and pig. Then he caught sight of the little princess being chased by the troll. She had gotten free of his grip. He saw a low-hanging chain. He grabbed on and swung towards the little girl, and picked her up and swung safely to the other side of the balcony, then threw a spear right into the goblin’s heart.

Then they rode happily back to the castle. The king and queen were overjoyed to see their girl was safe, and so was the border collie. The next day, they had a splendid feast – of course, with no venison (because in their culture, it’s a crime to eat venison). The feast lasted for days and days.

Finally, a week after the feast had ended, the king married his daughter to the knight. And they rode off on their honeymoon. And, to make sure the princess was safe, the knight always carried two barrels of gunpowder, just in case.

And they lived happily ever after…without any trolls in it ever again.


3 comments:

Hannah said...

We have LOVED using the Language Lessons series! The kids adore the colorful picture studies and I like the gentle lessons they contain, especially in the area of introducing grammar. Like you, I have a desire to hold off on the really "formal" grammar study until they are a little older and can grasp those concepts better. Sandi Queen's books have been a wonderful addition to our language arts program and I highly recommend them to others who use a Charlotte Mason approach. I have used "Language Lessons for Little Ones", "Language Lessons for the Very Young", and "Language Lessons for the Elementary Child" so far with my oldest two children. They have all been wonderful! :) I think you will end up liking them more and more as time goes on. Thanks for sharing about this fantastic resource on your blog.

Kimberly said...

Delightful stories.

Mrs Random said...

I think my favorite line is the parenthetical comment about it being a crime to eat venison in their culture! Really?? That's awesome :)

I'm so sorry your worms died. If it weren't past midnight, I'd write them a eulogy. (Or maybe I will *because* its past midnight.)

Ode to the Worms.

You lay on the soil,
so wiggly and brown.
You lay on the soil
and bulked at burrowing down.
You lay on the soil,
day after day.
You just laid there on the soil,
till we had to throw you away.

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