Gesture and Narrative Language Group
MIT Media Lab

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Animal Blocks become a sketch book for children’s collaborative storytelling by collecting and connecting their narratives.


Objects that elicit stories from children

Each animal in the Animal Blocks can tell stories told by children who have played with them before. When a child picks up an animal and puts it on a play scene, a colorful shadow of the toy appears on the scene. Then the shadow walks up to the story book placed next to the play scene, and illustrates its story in the book with text and pictures. The child can write her own stories in the book by using the physical animal blocks in addition to the keyboard.

Connection between
oral and written stories

The goal is to encourage children to transfer their oral storytelling with toys such as Animal Blocks into written representations - making a connection between children’s oral storytelling play and their literacy activities.


Kimiko Ryokai
February, 2001
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