Story Stones and Thinking Skills

29 September 2011 · 8 comments

in Literacy Outdoors

My painted stones remain a much treasured resource that I continue to adapt and refine. Children like them and are happy to spend time looking and talking about the simple illustrations.

Some are themed. Below is my minibeast collection. Here is is fairly easy to work out what is what. Each stone has a fairly fixed definition. The ladybirds will always be ladybirds, for example.



I have a lots of stones, where the illustration is more open-ended. For example, children may surmise long and hard about what type of animal made the paw-print. The yellow dot could be the sun or it could indicate something else. The eye has been used to suggest someone is watching another character or event. It may be God’s eye. It might be an adult one.  Can you work out what’s amiss with the footprint?

I also have some abstract designs. When these get pulled out of the bag, initially there’s confusion over what the patterns mean. People have to decide their meaning. This calls for a little bit of imagination.

I find having open-ended illustrations makes for much more interesting story telling that has twists, turns and variations. And there’s power  and control here too. For suddenly a child has to attach their idea to the stone. It becomes what they want it to be.

A little stone can give a lot of empowerment in a funny sort of way. Little tweaks can transform an experience.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee Taprell September 29, 2011 at 10:14

I love it! These story stones are so delightful for inspiring conversations, stories, and creative thinking skills. I also love the mini beast theme.

The opportunities are endless and I agree-stones do give empowerment in a funny sort of way.

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Juliet Robertson September 29, 2011 at 12:22

Thanks Renee

Yes – the themes are great for subjects and the abstract illustrations really get the conversations going.

Best wishes
Juliet

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miss merril September 30, 2011 at 19:06

I love that some of the story stones are straight forward and others abstract, allowing children to affix their own meaning to the stone – it’s a wonderful way to meet children where they are. My communication center has not been enticing children this year and I think these stones would be a wonderful, exciting provocation. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Juliet Robertson October 1, 2011 at 20:49

Hi- thanks for your response, Miss Merril. Stones work especially well if children also paint their own designs too.

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Hannah Sommerville October 16, 2011 at 12:00

I LOVE the idea of doing abstract patterns and shapes on the stones. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself!

Thank you for taking the time to comment about this on my blog.

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Hannah Sommerville October 16, 2011 at 12:00

I LOVE the idea of doing abstract patterns and shapes on the stones. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself!

Thank you for taking the time to comment about this on my blog.

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Tamara G. Suttle May 17, 2013 at 01:04

Thank you! I so appreciate your insights and creativity! Happy to share with others.

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