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Storytelling Fun: A Drawing Tale

A “drawing tale” is a story that is told as the teller draws lines and/or shapes that help to tell the story – and then reveal a surprise at the end!

Drawing stories were popular in the late 19th – early 20th century, but Anne Pellowski, a storyteller, librarian, researcher, and author, believes they may go back thousands of years to the cave paintings. They are found all over the world.

Miss Lana shares a drawing story about a mouse in the video below. Enjoy! Try drawing and telling it yourself, and if you forget parts of it – just make it up! Then go “Off the Page” with the additional activities below the video.

Off the page!

Extend the story by going off the page (and off the screen) with these activities:

Sidewalk Chalk: On a nice day, go outside and draw with chalk on the sidewalk or the driveway. Make up your own story as you draw. Or mix your own sidewalk paint and create an art museum on your front walk:

Make Sidewalk Paint

What you need:

  • cornstarch
  • food coloring
  • water
  • small containers
  • paintbrushes

What you do:

  1. Mix equal parts water and cornstarch by adding the water to the cornstarch in a large bowl.
  2. Stir until it is smooth with no clumps.
  3. Pour the mixture into the small containers – yogurt containers are great, but containers with lids will let you keep the sidewalk paint to use another day.
  4. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container and mix each one well.
  5. Use a paintbrush to create colorful scenes on your front walk. Make some abstract and some realistic. You can even draw your own comics using the sidewalk panels as storyboards for a comic strip!
  6. TIP: If the paint gets too pale, it needs mixing – your colors will be vibrant again once you stir it up.
  7. This paint is non-toxic and will wash away the next time it rains.

Adventure Walks: Go on adventure walk with your family. What do you see? What do you hear? Take a little bag with you to collect things – stones, leaves, twigs – whatever you find.

Take a hike! Visit one of the many hiking and walking trails in the township for an adventure that lasts all day! Information about the many trails may be found on the township’s website:

Picnic! Pack a lunch or a snack and explore the woods and the canal and the township’s history together as a family. 

Scavenger Hunt! Make a list of things you might see in your neighborhood or on a trail (or use the one below) and have a scavenger hunt. Check off each item as you find it:

  • bird
  • leaf on a tree
  • leaf on the ground
  • dog
  • something brown
  • water
  • another person (not in your group)
  • insect
  • twig
  • pebble
  • big rock
  • something red
  • something unexpected
  • something old
  • something that doesn’t belong there

Take some photos along the trail and make a scrapbook page when you get home to remember your adventure! The craft packets available at the Children’s Desk in the Main Library will provide lots of material to help you make your scrapbook page – stop by and pick one up whenever the Main Library is open!


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