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Stories: Their Powerful Role in Early Language and Literacy

Beginning in the earliest years of childhood, stories help us understand our world and make sense of our lives. Each day, through our experiences with the world and others, we build new stories that later become our life novels.

by Janice Im, Rebecca Parlakian, and Carol A. Osborn

Brendan, 23 months, spies cookies on the table after a family dinner. He reaches up to Grandpa, indicating he wants to sit on his lap. Once there, Brendan points to the cookies and says, “Have some?” Grandpa gives him a cookie and he immediately devours it. He reaches for another, asking, “More cookie?” Grandpa hands Brendan another cookie and the scene replays. This time Grandpa says, “No more.”

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