How to Make the Story Time Materials
Story Time is a series of narratives illustrated by feltboard materials, appropriate for children at the Preschool and Primary levels. The 4 Story Time modules describe ecology, succession, and fire for these ecosystems:
- Forests dominated by ponderosa pine
- Forests dominated by lodgepole pine
- Subalpine forests and meadows with whitebark pine
- The Missouri River basin, from the spine of the Rockies to the tallgrass prairie
You may choose to make 1 or more of the modules, depending on which ecosystems are of most interest to you. The original FireWorks curriculum uses the first 3; FireWorks for Missouri River Country uses the 4th.
Prepare looseleaf binders:
Obtain binders with a clear sleeve on the cover and spine, and
a pocket inside the front cover. Obtain 8.5 X 11" document protectors. The sizes and quantities you'll need are:
||Number of binders
||Binder spine width
||Number of document protectors
|Missouri River Country
- Using a black-and-white printer, print the spine labels. Trim and insert.
- Using a black-and-white printer, print the display labels for the binders on the appropriate-colored paper: lodgepole on
green, ponderosa on
salmon, whitebark pine
on yellow, and Missouri River on blue. Laminate these, trim, and place in the inside pocket of the front cover of each
- Using a color printer and using ONE SIDED printing, print the pages for each binder (lodgepole,
ponderosa, whitebark pine, and Missouri River). Each of these "binder" files contains the following: cover, "display" page (except MO River doesn't have this), foreword, story narrative, and photos of felt pieces.
- Place the cover page inside the clear sleeve on the front of the binder. (For MO River, there are 2 binders & 2 covers.)
- Hole-punch the pages with display, foreword, and story narrative and place them in the binders.
- Use a plotter (or at least a large-paper printer) to print the large pattern pieces for each feltboard you're making (lodgepole, ponderosa, whitebark pine, and Missouri River).
Go fabric shopping:
You'll need an assortment of felt pieces and fabric paints to make the felt figures-- the pieces representing plants and animals that get moved around to tell the story on the feltboard. Look through the photo pages of felt pieces (just printed) to make a list of what you'll need.
Also get fabric glue and rubber cement.
And you'll need an 8.5" X 11" piece of light blue felt (or other color-- whatever is on hand and/or cheap) to insert in each page of document protectors. These "anchor" pieces will hold the plant and animal figures in place and can be slipped in and out of the document protectors when you're reassembling the binders after use. Figure out the number of felt pieces needed from the table above (13 for ponderosa pine, etc.)
Finally, you'll need materials for the felt backgrounds. Consult the supplies lists in these instructions (lodgepole, ponderosa, whitebark, and Missouri River) to figure out how much yardage to get of what colors.
Finish assembling binders:
- Cut out the large pattern pieces for the felt figures (trees, flames, etc.) that go in your binders.
- Make black-and-white copies of the photo pages for small felt pieces and cut out patterns from them.
- Use the paper patterns to cut out felt pieces. Make the number indicated on the photo pages. Decorate with fabric paint.
- When all glue and paint are COMPLETELY DRY, assemble the remainder of each binder as described below. The felt figures all go into document protectors. The idea is to have the photo page of each set of felt figures facing the actual figures, which are placed on an "anchor" piece of felt. Here's how:
- First, place one photo page FACING BACKWARD in each doc protector for that binder. You should have 1 doc protector left over. Fasten the FRONT of the photo page to the inside of the BACK of the doc protector with a drop or two of rubber cement; this way it won't slip out when felt pieces are removed from in front of it.
- Second, for every doc protector except the first one, place one felt "anchor" piece (8.5" X 11") between the clear front and the glued-in photo page. Also place an anchor felt piece in the final doc protector (which doesn't have a photo page in it).
- Third, put the doc protectors in the binder in numbered order (photo pages facing backwards).
- Fourth, guided by the BACK-FACING photo pages, place the matching felt figures on the anchor piece for each page FACING FORWARD. Thus the photo pages are on the left, facing the actual felt figures on the right.
Preparing felt backgrounds for stories: