Tell Stories About Everything

This is Brad Sneed's illustration of a turtle reading a book about turtles.

Children need to understand that stories have a beginning, middle and ending before formal reading instruction begins. Understanding the sequence of events in a story will help children’s comprehension.

The ability to describe things and events and to develop stories is referred to as narrative skills, and is critical in learning to read. Use dialogic reading by asking open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” response. Younger children benefit from hearing you tell about your activities, while older children can relate their activities to you.

Check out our Staff Picks for Tell Stories About Everything.


  • Look at the picture on this page and ask your child, “What gift do you think a turtle might like to get?”
  • Plan your day by talking about what you’ll do first, next and last.
  • Use stringing beads or other toys where you create a sequence and encourage children to recreate the sequence.
  • Sort items (buttons, blocks, etc.) by size, shape and color.
  • Talk about activities in the order that they occurred.
  • Ask your child to tell you about his or her day.
  • Have your child draw a picture. Then let them tell you what is happening in the picture. Write their words on the picture.
  • Practice numbers by counting things you see and do during the day.
  • Encourage your child to reenact a story you’ve read. Caps for Sale, The Mitten and The Carrot Seed are just a few examples.​


See all of our 6 by 6 Finger Plays & Wordless Picturebook videos.

The videos below are particularly great for this 6 by 6 skill.

6 by 6 Finger Plays: Choo Choo Train
6 by 6 Finger Plays: Dinosaur, Dinosaur
6 by 6 Finger Plays: Cat and Bunny
6 by 6 Finger Plays: Mr Bullfrog