Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rory's Story Cubes: an interactive and playful approach to graphic organizers and language development

Mudge received a package of Rory's Story Cubes for his birthday, and of course therapeutic and educational ideas flooded my head.

Developed by The Creativity Hub 10 years ago, each set of Story Cubes comes with a variety of nine dice with pictures upon them.  The player rolls the dice, then creates a story based on the picture cues.  There are also 3 dice accessory packs to increase or guide creativity.
Here are some ways to incorporate Story Cubes into the therapeutic, educational, or home based repertoire.

1.  Build language:  If you know a Speech and Language Pathologist, then you may have heard the acronym M.L.U. which is Mean Length Utterance (a way to calculate language productivity in children).  By prompting story telling in a semi-structured setting using Story Cubes, a therapist, parent or educator could support the increase of a child's M.L.U.

2. Guided Writing: You could modify the dice with color coded dots or coloring the dice themselves, assigning them to different parts of the sentence.  The Red Dice = subject; Green Dice= predicate; or Puprple = Noun; Blue = Verb; etc….  Now place a strip of color coded paper on the student's desk.  Now the traditional graphic organizer has turned into an interactive and playful approach.  Just roll, build a sentence and write. 

3. Modify and Accommodate as needed. By limiting the number of dice used, changes the expectations of the story or sentence. Rory's Story Cubes even come in a MAX version in which the cubes are larger for easier grasp.

Now if you don't have Rory's Story Cubes, be creative and make your own.  Using building blocks you probably already have in the play room, glue pictures of familiar people, places, and objects to ignite imaginative language. Or if you have access to Boardmaker or another picture support system, print out the concepts and words you want the children to work on, and voila, an easy, playful approach to language development.

I also found another way to enjoy the story building.  Rory's Story Cubes are even more on-the-go as an app available in the iTunes store for $1.99.  I haven't played with it yet, but I think it is in my phone's future.

Rory's Story Cubes are available on Amazon, but I have also seen them at Target and other specialty toy shops.  They come in the 4 main varieties which include Original, Actions, Voyages, and MAX.  It's a quick and easy take along, that can fit into the purse or therapy bag.  Definitely a good size bang for the buck.

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