Sunday, March 24, 2013

ELA Common Core Make It and Take It Story Cube

I have got a really cute make and take idea for you today!  It is a story retelling cube, somewhat similar to the inflatable ones, but better!!!  Why better, you ask?  Well, besides the fact that you will get much satisfaction out of making it yourself in all your free time (ha!), it is customizable!  With a few - okay, one - clever design twists, I have taken that generic story retelling cube and made it completely customizable to your needs!
Story Boxes-001

 To begin, gather up the following materials:  a square tissue box, glue, scissors, packaging tape, velcro, blank paper of any color, printed out sides.

story box 1
Gather all your materials.

Trace the sides of your tissue box on your blank paper and glue to all sides.
tory box 2
Trace and glue blank paper to cover the sides of the tissue box.

Wrap the box with the clear packing tape for extra strength and durability.  Remember, our little munchkins are not always the gentlest of children!
story box 4
Wrap all around with packaging tape for strength and durability.

Cut out and laminate the six labels, one for each side of the cube.  I used the packaging tape to laminate my labels since my laminator was at school when I made this box.  Add velcro to the labels and to the sides of each box and stick the labels to your story box.

\ add velcro to each side of the box and to the label.And voila! Your own story box, ready to be customized, is done![/caption]

And voila!  Your very own customizable story box is ready to use!

story box 5
The generic version is perfect for retelling any story!

I use this box in various ways.  Sometimes we roll it like a die, and a child tells about whatever part of the story is showing on top.  Sometimes I use it in a small group and  give it to one child to start, and we go in order with characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, and my favorite part.  As one child finishes his part, he passes it to the next person. This way, everyone in the group gets a chance to (is forced to) participate.  Sometimes I switch out the labels for beginning, middle, and end with problem, solution, and this reminds me of . . . if the story lends itself to this.  And finally, I switch it out with pictures that go along with a specific story, such as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", and the children use it to summarize and retell the story.

It took me about 20 minutes to make the actual box.  Once it is made, swapping out your side panels is very easy with the use of velcro.  I made a second one to put in my library center after the children became familiar with using the story cube.

Click the picture below to download the labels for the sides of the boxes.
story box 1
click here to download!
fairy tales story box-011
Click here to visit my TPT store and look at the Goldilocks and the Three Bears packet.
I also have completed Goldilocks and the Three Bears story panels for the story box.  You can find them by clicking on the picture below.

Keep an eye on my store for upcoming stories to switch out on your story cube.

Have a great day!


  1. I love recycled crafts and this one is pure genius! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. This is a great idea, Lesley! I always like the idea of using recycled materials, and this item serves an excellent purpose too! Thank you!

    Crayonbox Learning

  3. Thanks Danielle! I've been using it in my classroom, and the kids love it.

  4. Thank you! Learned this one as a beginning teacher years and years ago in Florida, long before the inflatable beach balls ones came on the market.


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