Reading and Language Development Games: Using Narrative Structure!

You can multi-task with these reading and language development games using narrative structure. 

Knowing narrative structure or story grammar will improve your child's reading abilities as well as your child's oral language abilities (expressive language).

Below I outlined one game that can be played in the car or anywhere and one card game. 

Who is in that car?

This game is an imaginative story game that can be played anywhere. The purpose is to have fun, create stories using story grammar, and in turn, improve oral language and reading skills! Easy!

How To Play:

While driving or on a walk, someone points to a car or house. That person is the story teller! The story teller has to create the setting, problem, and ending or you can take turns creating each part.

1. Setting: Give the background details

  • Who is in the car?
  • Where are they going?
  • When is it happening?

The story teller has to create the setting: place, time, characters. (If you and your children are just learning this game, ask your child the questions above to help create the setting.)

2. Problem: Someone yells uh-oh and the storyteller has to make up a problem.

  • What is the problem?
  • How do they feel?
  • How are they going to fix it?
  • What are the attempts to fix it? (min. of 2)

Again, you may have to initially ask your child these questions if he or she is leaving a part out of the story. Or, you can help each other tell the story by taking turns. 

3. Resolution: The end

  • What happened in the end?
  • How do they feel?

The end follows the same pattern as above!

Storymatic Kids

This is an excellent game that will work on both reading and language development. Since it is very small and has minimal components, it can be played in the car, at home, on vacation, or on a picnic!

I love the simplicity of Storymatic Kids. It is a fantastic practice for oral language and narrative structure development! Kids love it too since it encourages creative and funny stories.

How to play:  This game can be played many different ways. The game contains yellow and blue cards. First, you draw at least 2 yellow cards. These cards describe your main character. Then, you draw at least one blue card. This card helps to define the plot/problem. Your child and yourself can have fun inventing a story. Remember to practice and include all the story grammar components within your creative tale. 

You can pick up a copy at ebay!

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Click here to read more about how reading and language development depend on each other. 

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference.

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› Narrative Structure