Promoting Youth Literacy


Yesterday the niece, nephew and I tried our hands at plasticine illustrations (what else can I call it but illustrating?). The kids enjoyed the little activity and we classify it as an art NOT a craft. In an effort to expand the children's literacy skills I encouraged the little ones to compose a story inspired by some of the illustrations we created. Here are the stories...

Maya and Ethan Blast Off to Space
by E.E.R Smith

Ethan was walking to his friend Gage’s house. Along the way he found a green space rocket on the street with two space suits inside it. Ethan went inside the rocket and waited until it was night.

When it was very dark outside Ethan tiptoed into his sister Maya’s bedroom where she was sleeping. Maya was snoring loudly. Quietly, without waking up his sister, Ethan picked up her bed while she was still sleeping on it. He carried Maya and her bed to the space rocket. Inside the rocket there was a space thingie that had the two space suits hanging in it. Ethan picked up Maya and put her in the space thingie that dressed her in the space suit. Then Ethan put Maya back to bed and put his space suit on.

And then he pushed a button that made the space rocket blast off. The noise of the rocket engines and the heat from the fire woke Maya up. Maya was scared, “Stop Ethan,” she shouted, “Stop Now! Please stop because I’m really tired and I just want to sleep.”

Ethan said, “I will let you sleep when we finish blasting off.” And the noise of the rocket when “bmmuymm… hhsssshhhsssss….” The rocket was headed for Pluto, Ethan’s favourite planet. He really loved to go to Pluto, and now that he had a rocket he could go there everyday (and every night).

On Pluto Ethan was going visit his best rock star friend Guiseppe who played the guitar and had cool rock star hair. Guiseppe drove a very fast car that had fire coming out of the back. Ethan also had another great friend on Pluto named Tre. Tre rides a motorcycle and plays the drums in Guiseppe’s band. Tre and Guiseppe were the best musicians on Pluto.

Ethan, Guiseppe, and Tre found an island of ice cream. It had a big huge chunk of strawberry ripple ice cream. They got into their bathing suits and ate a circle around the island and then raced their race cars and motorcycles around the ice cream island.

Ethan left Pluto with his rock star friends in the rocket. His sister Maya was still sleeping. He pushed the liftoff button again and the rocket blasted off. Maya woke up and cried, “Ethan why didn’t I get to see around Pluto? Can I have some ice cream?”

Ethan replied, “umm… we visited an ice cream island. You didn’t wake until we blasted off.” He looked around the rocket and found an ice cream rocket. Everyone got ice cream for a treat, but Maya got a huge hot fudge sundae as big as the rocket.

The rocket landed at 6:30 in the morning. Ethan planned another trip to Pluto for the next night. This time Maya stayed up so that she could have some of the ice cream island.

Original Artwork by E.E.R Smith

And for the next story...

Haley the Puppy
By M.A.D Smith

When I was walking to my friend’s home I stopped because I saw a puppy. It was cute. I picked it up and I didn’t walk to my friends. Instead I walked to my house and I named the puppy Haley. Haley was a girl. She was two years old. I made a puppy house in my room for her. She liked it because it had her favourite colour. It was blue. Blue was my favourite colour too. Haley’s favourite rose was pink. My favourite rose was pink too.

I took her to the doctor to get her check up. Haley had to get a needle because she got sick. And she had to get some medicine. The doctor told me that I could take her home at 2:30. At 2:30 I had to get my check up. I got a needle too because I had the flu.

On Thursday my grandma came to visit me. She brought a chew toy and some dog food for Haley. My grandpa came too and brought a leash and dog collar. When Haley saw all of the stuff my grandparents had brought for her she fainted because she was so happy and grateful. When she fainted she fell right down the stairs into the basement. When she reached the basement, she knocked over the fish bowl that was at the bottom of the stairs. I ran down the stairs and yelled, “Haley, are you okay? What about the fish?” Haley jumped up and picked up the fish with her mouth and put them back in the fish bowl. “You saved their life Haley,” I shouted.

The next day Haley’s best dog friend named Kaley came over. She had something for her. It was a bone. The bone was Haley’s favourite kind of bone. The bone was pepper, grape, and strawberry flavoured. Haley shared her bone with Kaley. Mr. Kookul from next door came over with his bulldog Junklabul. Junklabul had some stuff for Haley and Kaley. Haley and Kaley had some stuff for Junklabul too and it was a whoopee cushion. He didn’t know what it was so he sat on it and it went pffttt. Junklabul laughed his head off. He had to go to the hospital to get his head sewed back on.

the original artwork that inspired the story