From Wall Displays to Learning Stories

Topic Progress:

Foundations 1, Part 2

Lesson 2: Wall Displays and Learning Stories

As children investigate the materials included in the MGT curriculum kit and create projects, it is meaningful to display their work. This section of the training is going to offer insights on how to transform the way you use your walls to show and tell the story of what and how the children are learning in your program.

How to Make Learning Visible

Learning is a dynamic process. To help show this process, we use storyboards. These are special wall displays that you can co-create with your children. Storyboards reimagine the traditional bulletin board and highlight the learning process that happens behind paintings, collages and child artworks. Here is how to get started on creating your first Story Board:


Think about your role: 

  • LISTEN as children create art or build ideas in an activity corner, listen to their words and write down quotes.
  • OBSERVE  what they are doing and take photos of the process. Capture close-ups of how they hold the scissors. Take a picture of the emotion on their faces as they feel a squishy texture for the first time.
  • REFLECT by writing anecdotes about their work and interpret their actions as a connection to what you explored together during the day.

Set up an Invitation to Create:

  • Set up experiences where children can reflect on an image or artifact then express their ideas with diverse materials.
  • Use the Invitation to Create projects included in the Mother Goose Time curriculum to get started with this approach.

Document while children create:

  1. Take photos and make notes about the process.
  2. As you reflect on the sequence of events that emerge in the children’s learning story, use the First, Second and Third labels to sort photos and prepare notes for the storyboard.


Set up your Story Board:

  1. Display the photo or artifact along with some background information about the context of what ignited the child’s imagination for creating the art. To help you do this, Mother Goose Time includes the project title, description card and provocation photo. Post these in the middle of your display.
  2. Arrange the child’s completed art work around the Project Title and story process photos.

Reflect on, celebrate and extend the story:

    1. As children see their artwork as part of the storyboard, ask them what they remember from creating it. What else would they like to do now?
    2. As parents see the storyboard, describe the concepts and skills learned while the child participated in the design process. What story can you tell them about what happened first, second and third while the child created their fabulous artistic expression? Remember all stories have a beginning, middle and end.

Use the storyboard to tell stories, recall memories and dream up new ideas.

Read more about the Reggio Emilia approach to documentation:

Next: Part 2, Lesson 3 Use Your Teaching Tools >


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