Family Stories

Telling family stories helps your child get to know special people in his life. Storytelling is also an important tradition in many cultures, and can help build a sense of family and community while giving children a foundation for early reading skills at the same time.

This article provides a number of ways that you can make storytelling a part of the time your family spends together.

What to Do

The first activities in the list below work well with younger children. As your child grows older, the later activities let him do more. But keep doing the first ones as long as he enjoys them.

Share family stories

Tell your child stories about your parents and grandparents or about others who are special to you and your family. You might put these stories in a book and add old photographs.

The storyteller's voice helps your child to hear the sounds of words and how they are put together to make meaning.

Think out loud about when you were little

Make a story out of something that happened, such as a family trip, a birthday party, or when you lost your first tooth.

Ask your child to share stories

Have your child tell you stories about what he did on special days, such as holidays, birthdays, and family vacations.

Keep family journals from trips and special events

If you go on a trip, write a trip journal with your child to make a new family story. Take photographs of special events. Writing down special events and pasting photographs of the events in the journal will tie the family story to a written history. You can also include everyday trips, such as going to the grocery store or the park.


U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications and Outreach
Helping Your Child Become a Reader
Washington, D.C., 2005


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Share My Lesson. For teachers, by teachers.

National Education Association. How Educators Can Advocate for English Language Learners.

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