Story Dictation

From Montessori Album
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Story Dictation
Language - Language Foundation
Story Dictation 8.JPG
Materialslined paper
glue stick
selection of pictures

In this activity a young child glues a picture to the top of a piece of paper and the dictates a story about the picture to an adult who then writes the story on the paper. This allows the child to practice organizing their thoughts into words for writing before they have the ability to put those words down on paper (or with the moveable alphabet) on their own.


The material should be arranged on the shelf as shown. The tray should have only one sheet of paper on it, the rest of the paper should be on a stack next to the tray. Next to that should be the magazine pictures.

Story Dictation 1.JPG
  1. Have the child select a picture from the basket and put it on the tray. Have the child carry the tray to a table.
    Story Dictation 2.JPG
  2. Lay the paper on the table. Check to see how the picture fits on the paper.
    Story Dictation 3.JPG
  3. Trim the edges of the picture to remove unwanted portions, and so it will fit at the top of the page.
    Story Dictation 4.JPG
  4. Glue the picture to the top of the paper.
    Story Dictation 5.JPG Story Dictation 6.JPG
  5. Have the child dictate a sentence or two about the picture for the teacher to write down.
    Story Dictation 7.JPG Story Dictation 8.JPG
  6. After the child puts the tray back on the shelf he should put another sheet of paper on it so that it will be ready for the next child.

Points of Interest

Control of Error

Variations and Extensions

  • Children could also draw a picture instead of cutting and pasting one.
  • Older children use the material also, but can write out the words on their own.
  • Photos of the children themselves (from field-trips perhaps) could be used.
  • Children may prefer to dictate longer stories without pictures.
  • Children could write stories with multiple pages, then put them together as a little book.


Make Your Own

Pic-top writing paper icon.jpg Full Page 9 Lines icon.jpg
Picture-Top 5 Lines Full Page 9 Lines

Where to Buy

Prices and links checked: 23 January 2022

Montessori Writing Paper
Store Price
500 sheets