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PLAN Sheet: The Powerful Role of Stories in Supporting Early Language and Literacy

Stories play a powerful role in our lives. Learn how stories can be an important tool to support child development.


Key Messages:
Stories are an important part of early learning and development.
Children need to hear, read, and tell stories to become successful readers and writers.
Stories play a powerful role in our lives. They help to shape who we are and what we bring to any given situation.


Preparing Yourself

  • Think back over your career. What stories inspired you?
  • As a mentor, what stories could you share with teachers that might support them in their work?

Linking with the Caregiver

  • Invite teachers to share with you.
    • What stories would they would like children to remember about spending their early years with them?
  • Listen for ways that teachers
    • share stories and build positive stories with children.
    • demonstrate their ability to listen to children’s spoken and unspoken stories.

Acknowledge Strengths & Areas for Support

  • Reflect back what you heard (content and feeling) and reach for clarity. Ask teachers what more they would like to learn about in using and building stories with young children.
  • Highlight strengths. Observe aloud how you have seen teachers share stories with children and listen to their attempts to share stories with them.
  • Reframe teachers’ comments and concerns in ways that extend their understanding of the role of stories in early language and literacy development.

Next Steps

  • Brainstorm together ways teachers can build stories with children everyday and enhance their storytelling interactions with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through books, music, and dramatic play.
  • Identify resources that each of the following contributors might bring to the effort:
    • Teachers
    • You, as the mentor
    • Colleagues or community

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