Pattern stories are a standard in primary grades. The repetitive cadence of pattern stories helps build an emerging reader's confidence, because students "know" what is coming next. This prediction, or memorization, also makes it easier for emerging readers to connect printed text with sounds and words they know verbally.
You can also use pattern stories to turn your emerging writers into authors by turning the pattern into a sentence stem they can use for their own version of the story!
The simplest patterns, with only one or two words to complete, are often the best. For example, if you read It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw (template), you can use a sentence frame like:
“Sometimes it looks like a (object) , but it wasn’t a (same object) ."
Wixie makes it easy to combine student writing with visuals and oral narration. This gives students an opportunity to demonstrate learning without struggling to type or tell their story solely using words. Recording narration allows students to practice reading and provides teachers with an assessment of reading or oral fluency.
To create an adaptation, choose your favorite pattern story. Read it aloud to your students and work together to identify the pattern found. Then, use the pattern to have each student create a single page for a class book or creates the entire book on their own.
Ideas for adapting pattern stories ideas in Kindergarten
Here are a few pattern story favorites from Kindergarten, along with sentence stems, to make getting started easy.
Goodnight Moon — Margaret Wise Brown
This is a great starter story because most Kindergarten students have already read the board book with their families. Don’t worry about rhyme, simply have them say goodnight to an object in their bedroom. (template)
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed — Eileen Christelow
Many students know this pattern story from a common song they sang in preschool. (template)
“My bed has (number) (noun) .”
In the Tall, Tall Grass — Denise Fleming
This is a great match for building observation and data collection skills as the foundation of the scientific method. Visit the habitat outside your classroom and then ask students to share the name of a living creature they found there along with an action word (verb) to describe its movement. (template)
“In the tall, tall grass _ (animal)_ __(action)__.”
Mary Wore Her Red Dress — Merle Peek
Based on an old southern song, this pattern story reinforces color and clothing words and provides a good opportunity for your young writers to talk about themselves. Have students draw, or capture, their picture wearing clothing of a specific color. (template)
“_(name) wore a __(color)__ __(clothing)__.”
Pet Show! — Ezra Jack Keats
Use this fun story as a jumping off point for learning descriptive words. Ask your primary learners to paint a picture of their "fantasy" pet, and describe the award it would win. (template)
“The _(superlative)_ pet."
Leaf Man — Lois Ehlert
This is a great book to inspire young learners to talk about things they see in the fall using positional words such as above, behind, and next to. What adventure might your student’s leaf man have? (template)
“Leaf man blew _(positional preposition)_ the _(noun)_.”
Ten Black Dots — by Donald Crews
This story encourages flexible thinking and imagination as students turn dots into other objects to tell a story. If you don’t have time to write, draw, and illustrate every number, consider having each student create a different page from 1-10 or assign every student the same number of dots. (template)
“ (number) dots can make a (object) .”
Brown Bear, Brown Bear — by Eric Carle
And last but not least, you can use the pattern in Eric Carle's beloved story to practice color or use it as a model to describe a season, habitat, culture, or holiday! (template)
" (object) , (object) , what do you see?"
Managing student writing
If the writing involves just one word, you can have students work independently in a lab or center/station. If they have basic tech skills, they can type the word on their own using inventive spelling. If students are new to technology or need assistance, have them rotate through a station with you or work with each student on your interactive whiteboard to model for others.
Consider asking students in an older class to support your learners as they create illustrations and record narration.
It's time to publish!
Sharing and showcasing student work is a huge factor in motivating students to do their best work. Whether you have each student create a single page of a class book, work collaboratively to adapt a classic, or ask each student to design their own book, be sure to publish their work.
If your plan is to create a printed book for your classroom library, find a company that provides easy-to-assemble cardboard covers or make your own so your book looks professional and lasts through many uses. You can also export student work from Wixie as an image and then upload to a photo sharing site to publish as a soft or hard cover book. This also makes it easy for parents to buy a copy of the book for students to read and show off at home.
If students have recorded voice narration to their page, print won’t capture this precious memory. Use Wixie to combine individual student work into one file. Use Wixie’s Show feature to present it to the entire class at a publishing party. Be sure to use the download options under Wixie's file menu to publish the combined file as an eBook or PDF they can read on devices in class or at home.
No matter which story you choose or how you publish, Wixie makes it easy to use your favorite picture books to turn your emerging writers into authors.