Target Audience: PreK educators and children
Subjects/Skills: Computational Thinking, Storytelling, Literacy
The Story Emporium is a seven-week preschool program that uses stories and songs to explore computational thinking. Children sing songs and read stories with repetitive, predictable patterns, like “Old MacDonald” and “The Gingerbread Man.” They explore these patterns by making story and song charts, putting on puppet shows and plays, and using a story-making digital app.
While computational thinking is typically paired with subjects like math and science, it’s also an effective way to strengthen children’s literacy and storytelling skills. The Story Emporium promotes some of the core skills preschool teachers already use in the classroom: the order of events in a story (sequencing); the story structure (pattern recognition), the different story elements (e.g., characters, actions) and their relationships (logical reasoning).
In addition to 60 activities, The Story Emporium comes with a Teacher’s Guide to help educators understand the connection between storytelling and computational thinking, and offers strategies to support dual language learners and the individualized learning needs and preferences of diverse children.
The Story Emporium is funded by an National Science Foundation Discovery Research preK-12 grant, and co-developed by GBH and researchers from EDC, who have collaborated on a number of preschool computational thinking projects in this rapidly developing field.
Classroom observations, expert reviews, and teacher feedback have informed the first two years of research. The large majority of teachers reported that The Story Emporium would successfully engage their students, that it was a cohesive curriculum that would fit well within their routines, and that it would support their instructional/learning goals for students.
A video about The Story Emporium can be watched here.
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