Story Stretcher: In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc

21 Aug

Some books really lend themselves to discussion. They make storytimes REALLY conversational and fun. Marianne Dubuc’s In Front of My House might not make the best storytime story (the book is kinda small so wouldn’t work for big crowds) but reading it one-on-one could prompt some fun storytelling, or, if you’ve got a class of kindergarteners or 1st graders, lead to a great writing exercise.

The story begins with: “On a little hill, behind a brown fence, under a big oak tree, [and on the opposite page] is…” The next page follows with a noun: “my house.” Opposite that is another prepositional phrase: “In front of my house….” and we have to turn the page to see what’s in front. The book continues in this way, with noun on the left and prepositional phrase on the right, as the story gets more and more outrageous, and princesses, vampires, an orangutan, and outer space come in to play (not at all in a scary way).*

Can you see the possibilities? It would be great fun to create your own story using In Front of My House as a model. Kids could write and illustrate their own stories, or you could take turns creating the story out loud.  Mine would go something like this:

On a mountain, by a lake, there is….a cabin

In front of the cabin…a garden

In the garden….some flowers.

On the flowers….a bee.

Near the bee…a window.

In the window…a face.

On the face…a smile.

Hmmm…I’ll have to think about the rest of it.

 

*One picture is of a hunter with a gun. He’s not doing anything with it, or aiming it, just holding it. It’s not mentioned in the story. But some schools have rules about guns, so I thought I would give a heads’ up.

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