3 Ways Story Dealer Cards Can Strengthen Language Arts

My kids are becoming quite the little readers. Every day they read for about twenty minutes. I am so proud of the words they are reading. The teacher in me, knows that reading words does not measure comprehension, so after reading I always follow-up with questions.  I have noticed that my kids struggle with comprehension and understanding parts of a story. I like to ask my kids about characters, setting, problem, and solutions, but sometimes they struggle with what I am asking. I also like to just ask them to tell me what the story they read was about, but they struggle to recall details.

A huge part of language art standards in education is parts of a story, especially in the younger grades. I believe understanding parts of a story can strengthen comprehension during reading.  So although my kids get flustered that after they are done reading I ask questions, I will continue do so. But I do not want to make comprehension daunting for my children.

We came across Story Dealer cards and it is helping my kids understand parts of a story in a game format. Story Dealers cards include: Who, What, When, Where, and Why!

At first we did not know how to play with them, but once we opened them up we realized the ways you can use them are endless!

There are so many ways you can use these cards. The STEM / STEAM edition  gives you the following 5 different ways to play:

  1. My Ideas: Draw ideas and characters on the blank cards to play the games below.
  2. Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: Use cards to tell stories about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math.
  3. Big Deal: For large groups, give one card to each player & create a collaborative tale.
  4. 5 Ws: Deal a row of 5 cards to each player. Take turns getting fresh cards & discarding unwanted cards until a winner has one card of each suit: Who, What, Where, When, & Why. The winner is the first to tell a tale.
  5. And How: Use the two “How” cards as jokers, but lose a turn if you get one!

My kids and I have played with the cards two ways so far. The first time the kids wanted to play “Go Fish” with the cards!  Instead of making matches, we were trying to make a set. We took turns asking individuals if they had the cards we needed to make a set, if not than we said “Go Fish”. For example if I needed a “Why”, I would ask Isabel “Do you have a Why?” If she did, she would hand it over.  If not, she would send me fishing. The person who got a complete set would get to use their cards to tell a story.  My kids loved it so much they came home from school today and asked to play it again “Go Fish” style… later they played alone Big Deal.

We also played Big Deal with the cards. The cards suggest you play this with a large group, but we had such a great time playing this just the three of us. We of course did not use all the cards. We decided before the game that we would create a story in five rounds. This definitely got our creative wheels spinning.

Here are 3 Ways Story Dealer Cards are helping my children in Language Arts:

  1. It  is part of Kindergarten Language Arts standards that children should be able to identify the setting, characters, problem, and solution from texts (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story). The cards “Who” helps build on characters. “When” and “Where” cards strengthens children understanding of setting. “What”,  “Why”, and “How” cards can help children think about and identify the problem and solution.  As a former kindergarten teacher, and now as a mom, I know that setting can be a tricky concept to find or even think about. I love how Story Dealer cards get children to think about setting with the cards “When” and “Where”.  In our video below, you can see how the game is helping Isabel come up with a setting when she pulls a  “When” card.  Practice coming up with these parts of a story promotes confidence in children and in their ability to name them. If Isabel can come up with these concepts in a game, she will be able to pick them out in stories when she reads.

    During our Big Deal game, Isabel is thinking about her “when” card and the detail she will add to our story!
  2. Another major part in Language Arts is being able to retell a story, including important details (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details). The kids and I had such a fun time playing Big Deal with the cards, as we took turns adding to the story. We each had to remember previous details to add a new detail that makes sense to our story.  At the end of our game, we added the challenge of seeing who can retell our story. In our video below, you can see how Elijah takes pride in his ability to retell our entire story using details. In writing this, I came up with an new extension to the cards. In the game 5 W’s, instead of coming up with your own story at the end. Use the 5 W’s to recall details in stories the children have read as a family or as a class.

    Elijah got to add the first detail when we played Big Deal!
  3. It is also important for kids to look at pictures and describe a moment from the story the picture depicts ( CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear [e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts]).  The Story Dealer cards are perfect to help children practice and master this concept. The cards have fun illustrations children use to add their detail to the story. My children did not always add details based on the illustrations, because this can be difficult for them. As children become more confident with the who, what, when, where, and why, we can add the challenge to use the pictures to describe their detail in their story.

Honestly there are so many ways you can use these cards to strengthen children in language arts. I did not even touch on how these cards can help with writing.  You can get very creative with Story Dealer Cards!

Who can use these cards?

  • The suggested age range for these cards are 4 -74.
  • It can be added to your collection of games to played during family game nights.
  • I believe these cards are perfect for the classroom setting.  These would be great for literacy centers as well! I would play Big Deal for rainy days or have it as an emergency game subs can use to play with your class.

For more information on the cards you can visit www.storydealers.games.

View our Vlog below to see how we enjoyed the Story Dealer Cards!

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  1. Verla says:

    I am so happy to see the age range includes me at 65 years old. These cards are brilliant. I love the way you use the “what” card to enhance character development and the “when and where” to recreate the setting. Such a great exercise. We bloggers can use to improve our story telling. I am sold!

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      Absolutely! It helps everyone tap their creative side 😊

  2. Melissa says:

    These are so great, I wish they had been around when my kids were younger!

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      My kids are really having fun with them! I am glad there has been a shift since I was younger in producing educational products!

  3. Maggie says:

    What a fun way to encourage reading for life! Love it!!

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      I aspire to help my littles become lifelong learners!

  4. Anitra says:

    These seem amazing! I could really utilize these in my preschool class of new readers! Thanks for sharing!

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      Oh I think these are perfect for the classroom setting!

  5. freespiritedsinglemom says:

    These look as if they would be a great help with reading comprehension. Thank you for sharing.

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      I love how they help children build on reading skills!

  6. Heidi says:

    What a wonderful resource for moms! 🙂

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      Absolutely! I love as a mom how it is not a complicated game and that my kids can play it on their own! Sometimes we as moms need kids to play on their own!

  7. LauraBelle says:

    We had something similar to this when my kids were younger. It was fun.

    1. instantfamilyofsix says:

      Awesome! Kids have so much fun with card games!

  8. Jocelyn says:

    What a cute, fun way to teach kids! Love the idea. Thank for the suggestion!

  9. This is very interesting. I’m definitely checking it out.

  10. Nicolette says:

    I love when learning is also fun! This is a great find!

  11. Dee says:

    These are great! I am a reading tutor and what I have learned over the years is the key to reading comprehension is visualizing what you read. That is the foundation of the Lindamood-Bell program which costs thousands of dollars but is probably the most effective reading program out there.

  12. Monica says:

    My daughter loves to talk. We tell stories each night but need to focus more on reading and word recognition. This looks like a fun way to do that.

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