Ann Gadzikowski

Story Dictation: A Guide for Early Childhood Professionals

by Ann Gadzikowski
foreword by Vivian Gussin Paley
Redleaf Press

Praise for Story Dictation: A Guide for Early Childhood Professionals “Thoroughly user friendly, "Story Dictation" is a welcome and highly recommended contribution to the expanding library of instructional reference material for classroom instructors, home schooling parents, and caregivers and support staff involved with children from daycare centers, community library literacy efforts, and community center programs for young children.”
       —Midwest Book Review

Stories are at the heart of how children know themselves, develop language skills, and learn to read. This book discusses how and when to use story dictation; how to use it to document children's growth in a variety of domains; and how to use common themes in children's stories, such as superheroes, for developmental assessment.

An Excerpt from Story Dictation: A Guide for Early Childhood Professionals

The term “story dictation” describes what happens when a child tells a story (or offers a description of an event or person, which is called a narrative) and an adult or an older child writes down the child's words, exactly as the child has spoken them.

Story dictation is already practiced in many early childhood settings. The teacher and the child sit side by side at a low table. The teacher's pencil is poised above the blank page, like a diver about to plunge into the water. The teacher turns her face to the child and their eyes meet. As the child begins to speak, the teacher's hand begins to move across the page. The day's story dictation has begun.

I wake up by myself. My mommy give my sister and me milk. Everyone put socks on. My mommy put her shoes on. My sister put her shoes on and I put my shoes on too. My mommy drive me to school. I eat breakfast at school and I brush my teeth. I tell story. Miss Linda write the story. The end.
   —Peter, age 4

Story dictation is a valuable part of any early childhood setting because it fosters children's language, literacy, social, and emotional development. The stories it generates can also be included in a child's portfolio and used as an assessment tool. It is also an activity that helps to develop a lifelong love of stories and books. But what is perhaps most important, the very act of dictating a story gives a child the gift of the caregiver's full attention, helping to build a secure and trusting relationship between caregiver and child.

Story Dictation book cover
Ann is working on a new book for Redleaf Press, a guide for early childhood teachers about how to challenge exceptionally bright children in a general preschool or kindergarten classroom, due out in early 2013.