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Noisy Stories

In “Max Found Two Sticks” by Brian Pinkney, Max expresses himself through rhythmic sounds. In this activity, students draw stories from the beats that Max makes in the book using an assortment of Crayola® Crayons.

  • Kindergarten
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. After reading the story “Max Found Two Sticks” by Brian Pinkney out loud to the class, discuss how Max, with his sticks, mimics the rhythms he hears as he sits on his front stoop. He is responding to the sounds he hears by repeating them. The book spells out the sounds using letters, explaining with words what the sounds are meant to represent for the reader.
    2. Write on the board the eleven written sounds from the book (putter-putter, cling clang da-bang, etc.). Ask the students to choose a number of these phrases to illustrate with a picture. Pass out index cards or pieces of white paper and a selection of Crayola® Crayons.
    3. In small groups or individually, ask the students to construct stories from the drawings. For example, using a sound picture of a tree branch tapping on a window at night (tap-tap-tap), a grandfather clock gonging (Dum dum-de-dum) and the ominous sound of a flat tire (thump-di di-thum), a scary scenario of an evening adventure emerges. The sound cards may be switched around to produce a variety of stories.
  • Standards

    LA: Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

    LA: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

    LA: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Creative thinking and artmaking skills transfer to many aspects of life.

    VA: Students will use a variety of methods for preparing their artwork and the work of others for presentation.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

  • Adaptations

    Play the game of Copycat. One person makes a simple sound pattern and others repeat the example. The patterns get longer and faster as the game progresses.

    Illustrate the sound patterns from the book using different textures for an abstract art piece. Join these pieces together for a cacophony of visual sounds.

    Ask the class to imagine a world without sounds. Talk about how people with hearing impairments communicate and get along in our sound-filled world. Invite a guest with hearing impairments to come to the classroom to share their experiences.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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