"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Monday, December 12, 2016

ReedALOUD: I am a Story

This week, the second graders and I read I am a Story by Dan Yaccarino.

I am a Story is a poetic and beautiful celebration of the history of the story, those words we have shared since time immemorial, from campfires and cave walls to tapestries and parchment; from the printed and bound book to the digital device. These stories that we share make us who we are. The history of the story is enlivened by Dan Yaccarino's engaging and clever illustrations. The careful reader will find references to stories, both historic and classic. 

The story of the story has not always been a happy one. Dan reminds readers that stories have been banned, censored, and burned. 
Dan Yaccarino reminds us of the power of story. That a tapestry of words can move us to laughter or tears, surprise or inspire us, or inform or expand our worlds is a testament to the power of story. That we can take stories with us wherever we go or find stories along the way is a hopeful thing indeed.

This was the perfect book to help the students understand that stories have a history and that the stories in this library and all libraries all started a very long time ago. The students engaged in a turn and talk with an elbow partner about these two questions:

“What is a story?” 
“Why are they important?”

With this thinking percolating amongst the group, we read I am a Story. 

The students learned that some of the oldest stories can be found in the Folk Literature neighborhood.They learned that the oldest known stories were shared orally, they were told, from person to person. We used Aesop’s Fables and talked about how stories that were being told 2636 years ago are still being told today. The Lion and the Mouse was a perfect example as all the students are familiar with Jerry Pinkney's version. 

After a whole group discussion, the students shared their thinking about these questions: 

1. What is a story?

2. Why are stories important?

3. What is a favorite story of yours?

4. How will stories be shared in the future?

After contributing their ideas and browsing and borrowing, the students practiced the art of storytelling using Story Cubes, Tell me a Story, How to Tell a Story. 

What story will you read today?


  1. Thank you for sharing this book and the inquiry questions you posed with your students. I recently bought this and thought it would be a great fit for my PYP school (under the transdisciplinary themes of Where We Are in Place and Time and How We Express Ourselves).

    1. Thank you! Would love to see what you come up with and how your students respond. Please share!