A story in a box

I am always looking for good ideas or resources that will invite my students to tell me their stories. I went to a conference just about a month ago and the speaker shared a book with us called, “Sitting in My Box” by Dee Lillegard and Jon Agee…

I am mad at myself right at the moment because I can’t find the speaker’s name but here is a photo of her sharing this wonderful book with us. I will come back and add her name as soon as I can find where I put it…

As soon as the speaker shared her wonderful idea of how to invite children to tell their own stories after reading the book, I was super excited and hunted down a copy of my own…

The book is about a little boy who is enjoying a good book about animals while sitting in a box when the animals begin to come and invite themselves to sit in the box too…

Just as the speaker suggested, I brought a box along with me and inside I placed one of each type of animal that was in the book inside the box. As we read the book, I revealed  each animal that was in the box for the children to see…

I then put all of the animals back into the box and told the children that they were welcome to read my new book and retell the story too – then I left the book along with the box out for the children to explore during our center time…

And we had plenty of takers stop by and explore the animals in the box – perhaps telling the story in their own way and sometimes adding new animals – but always using their imagination as they played with the animals and the box or took a picture walk through the book…

After reading our story, I added an idea of my own to the telling of this book and invited the children to help me tell our own “Story in a Box”.  I brought in my own very large box and began the story telling process.  “”Once upon a time, Mrs. Stewart was reading a book when along came ______ and said “Let me in, let me in!””  I filled in the blank with each child’s name and as I did, each child climbed into my box…

One by one, all the children squeezed into my box and then I made them scoot over so I could climb in too!  I suppose I should have already been in the box, like the child in the story, but the kids liked it when I made a big production about having to make them all scoot over so I could squeeze my way in…

And then I lightly pinched each of the children (like the flea bite in the book) and as I did, each child quickly and joyfully jumped out of my box – just like the animals did in the story!

Oh yes, this is a story that we will have to retell again – I love it!

I couldn’t find the book new on Amazon so you may want to look around a bit to see if you can locate a copy to borrow or buy but I am providing the link just to get you started any way…

Available on Amazon

Link to “Sitting in My Box” is a Kindle edition

By |2012-09-27T06:00:54+00:00September 27th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. JDaniel4's Mom September 27, 2012 at 7:55 am - Reply

    This looks like a really fun book. Please think about linking this post to Read.Explore.Learn.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      I will stop by:)

  2. Esther September 27, 2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

    That sounds like a real fun book! and I love the way all of you got into the box and the kids jumped out! I have to check whether our local library has a copy of the book!

  3. Amanda September 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love this! I just requested the book from my library. Now I have to go and search for a box. Thank you for sharing!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      You go girl! You are very fast and very resourceful!!

  4. Melinda September 28, 2012 at 7:29 am - Reply

    I just found a used (excellent shape) copy on Barnes and Nobel site for 57 cents!
    Even with shipping that’s $4 for a hardbound.
    Can’t wait until it arrives!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      Wow!! I need you to do my shopping for me!!

  5. michelle November 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    I have 2 copies of this book! Don’t ask me how that happened! Anyway, I am using your WONDERFUL idea to teach, I mean re-teach retelling to my kinders after the Thanksgiving break!! I can’t wait to do this, thank you for a great, great idea!!

  6. Ana Markovic February 23, 2013 at 3:57 am - Reply

    How beautiful is to see your work conditions, in my group there are 32 kids…poor little darlings as well as we are. But I still love what I do as well as I enjoy your facebook page ! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  7. Prisca May 15, 2017 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Lovely idea. I am planning to run my own preschool and I am currently training to be a preschool teacher. I love the great ideas being shared on this platform. I also have a passion to write books for little ones.

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok