Any Story – Fairy Tales


My children love stories – but being language learners they usually need visuals to understand.
Learn here what I came up with after having run out of kamishibai cards. (FREE download).

As I have stated in one of my earlier posts I took a new position teaching kindergarten in the beginning of this year. When I got to know my class there were two things that stood out to me:

  • My class was (and still is!) story-hungry.
    (They would even talk me into skipping a long-planned party for having me read my favorite story to them)
  • Most children I teach have only a very limited command of language.
    They will need very basic language input as well as constant visuals to understand what exactly is being said.

To accomodate both I spent the first weeks at the job printing and laminating kamishibai cards for ‘paper TV’.
About 2 months later – when I couldn’t manage to fit all these printing and laminating into my daily schedule anymore – I asked my class to bring their favorite books for show and tell (and read).
Then I installed a little classroom library using a few of my own books.

But all of this didn’t really cure the fundamental problem I ran into with all of these ideas: There was always only a limited number of stories that could be told – the visuals wouldn’t stand for a spontaneous storytelling or a change of plans or even acommodate the varying interests of all of my students:

  • A child would ask me ‘can’t you tell the story of one-eye, two-eyes and three-eyes?’ and instead of replying ‘yes, what a brilliant odea, let’s call for circle time!’ I would have to say: ‘Mmmmh, let’s see if I can find visuals by tomorrow. I’ll try to squeeze it in before the end of the week.’

To counteract this I developed Any Story. Voila:

maerchen_500Click HERE to download your FREE copy of Any Story – Fairy Tales.

What it is and how to use it

Any Story allows me to visualize any story (especially any fairy tale) using an easy-to-carry-around illustration as well as a few wooden shapes I found in my crafts corner.

Here’s how you can do it, too:

  • Print the downloadable illustration.
    (The resolution works for original size – which is A4 as well as poster print for a large A3 mat. I use half the original size in my classroom for easy storage and flexibility.)
  • Laminate the printout. (I used sturdy 100 micron laminating sheets)
  • Paint a few pebbles or wooden shapes – or alternatively use premade game stones for ‘puppets'(My handpainted ones look like that:spielfiguren







This is what my set looks like in action:

Little Red Riding Hood meets the big bad wolf on her way through the woods.
(Using my handpainted wooden shapes).





Hansel and Gretel got lost in the woods close to the gingerbread house.
(using standard game stones)





No more upside-down complaints

And – by the way – as you might have noticed in the pictures above: Any Story is very well suited for circle time and other situations where children have to be sitting all around the illustration as there is no top or bottom side. The landscape makes as much sense from anywhere in the room- nobody will have to look at (and complain about) an upside-down picture. 🙂

This helps my students concentrate on the story rather than the ‘unfair’ spot they have to sit on.


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