Use the Story

Most of these ideas can and should be used with reading activities -not just with experience stories


Keep a list of words from a series of stories that the student has had difficulty pronouncing. String these words together into "tongue twisters" and put them on tape for the student to listen to and practice for a "quiz."

Sight Words
The student might want to keep a set of flash cards to go over each session. A few new words from each story can be added to the set each week.

Some students keep a homemade "dictionary" where they record new words they want to remember. The dictionary has a letter of the alphabet on each page, and students may want to put a picture, translation, or transliteration next to each entry.

The student might have a list of category words in the back of a notebook or "dictionary" for groups of words, such as foods, family members, animals, etc. When these words come up in a story, they can be added to the list. Another type of list is of present and past tense forms of verbs, or of contractions encountered in the process of writing the story.

Some tutors assign (or students may choose) a few spelling words from each story for a list the student will study and get "quizzed" on later. These words should already be familiar to the student orally.

Make word search puzzles and spelling completion exercises based on words from a story.

Listening Comprehension
Ask yes/no questions or wh- questions based on the story.

Reading Comprehension
Make completion, matching, yes/no, or question and answer exercises based on the story.

Sentence Construction
Make sentence strips from sentences in the story. Cut them apart into individual words, mix them up, and have the student rearrange them into sentences. Or scramble the sentences on notebook paper, and have the student write a reconstruction.

If a particular grammar principle is consistently a problem in your stories, or if your student asks a lot of questions about it, find a textbook that explains the particular grammar point, and/or create practice exercises based on it.

The student can pick a few words from the story to learn for a future quiz. Have the student circle the words he/she wishes to learn. Ask the student to spell each word aloud, while looking at it, then, with the word covered up, try to spell it on another piece of paper. The student can copy each word onto a list in a notebook, or on index cards, and study for a quiz every few weeks.

Other Ideas
  • Show your student how to get the story on a word processor, and get a finished print out!
  • Give the tutor coordinator a copy of the story-she can get them printed in various publications for new readers!
  • Tell your student what's new with you by writing it in story form, too.
  • Carry on a conversation in writing instead of speech ("dialogue journals").
  • See if your student will do an outside writing assignment to bring in the next time you meet (it helps to agree on the topic, and content ideas beforehand).
  • Take several stories on a common theme and produce a book.