Not A Stick – Story & Creative Activity

Guest Post by Deborah J. Stewart, M. Ed. of Teach Preschool

I have been following No Time for Flash Cards for a very long time now and one thing I know about Allie is that she loves a good quality children’s book. So I thought I would share a fun little book we recently explored in my preschool classroom

The title of the book is “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis. The book is very simple to read and the basic idea is to get children’s imaginations going by imagining the stick in the book is anything but a stick!

As a class we have read this book at least three times and now as I read the book, the children shout out what the stick will be next! “It’s a fishing pole!”

After we read the book for the second time, I had the children go outside and gather sticks from our play yard…

As you can see, there is no shortage of sticks in our “play yard!” Once the children had selected a few sticks, we came back inside and each child taped their sticks to their own large sheet of paper…

The children then used crayons and their imaginations to turn the sticks into something that was “not a stick”…

This process was simple for the children and yet challenging too! The children tended to draw random lines around the sticks and talk about what they were making. When the children had finished their drawings, I had each child dictate to me a story about their stick. We started the story with, “It’s not a stick. It’s a….” and the children had to complete the sentence…

Our sticks turned out to be alligators, spiders, circles, swords, and more. A process like this is simple yet promotes great opportunity for story telling and imagination!

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, I would love to invite you to stop by Teach Preschool and see some of the other books and activities I share on my blog that young children will enjoy both at home or in the classroom!

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  1. says

    I love this book (and it’s counterpart Not a Box).

    But wait…you let them pick up and use sticks?? 🙂

    Really, I think this is a great idea for encouraging their imaginations and for extending the book. And I like the idea of using the book’s format and letting the children complete the sentence for what they drew. Great post!

  2. says

    “Not a Box” is one of my favs, and since your previous post about “Not a Stick”, I’m definitely ordering it this spring! I love, love, LOVE the idea of finding a stick to use as a drawing starter! Thanks for this fabulous idea, Deborah!

  3. says

    I love this! I had not heard of this book, but am definitely going to be getting a copy!

  4. says

    Oh this book looks adorable! When I was in the classroom, we would collect leaves and turn them into something new. Love seeing kids use their imagination! I’ll have to pin this for my little man. Great ideas!

  5. says

    What fun! I just requested it for our library. If you find a Rock, by Peggy Christian is another good one. Using photographs, it goes through rocks and all the different uses a kid might have for them… skipping rocks, splashing rocks, wishing rocks. It is fun for a grown up to read, too, because there are so many memories attached to these activities!


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