A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience

Students use a variety of objects and markers to print shapes and lines on paper. They use the paper to create an 8-page book that tells a wordless story, and then work in small groups taking turns to tell their version of the story.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Visual Arts
Media Literacy



Crayola Fine Line Markers - 12 Count Crayola Broad Line Markers - 10 Count Crayola Scissors Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue Spray Water Bottle - 1 per group Peel and Stick Craft Foam - 5 cm x 10 cm (2" X 4") - 1 per student Craft Foam Core Board - 5 cm x 10 cm (2" x 4") - 1 per student Plastic Placemat or Plastic Sheet Protector - 1 per student Copy Paper - 27 cm x 43.2 cm (11" x 17") - 1 per student Found Objects Small Googly Eyes

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A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step One

Step One

  1. Gather a variety of found objects such as small paper cups, cardboard and foam pieces, and other textured surfaces.
  2. Tape string to a rolling pin.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Draw marker on the plastic surface using the flat side of the marker.
  2. Spray the marker ink lightly with a small amount of water.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Press an object into the wet ink to pick up as much ink as you can.
  2. Make a print on the paper by pressing the inked object onto it and applying pressure, or rolling the object across the surface.
  3. Print lots of different kinds of marks.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Use the paper you have printed to make an 8-page book.
  2. Follow the instructions found in the downloads section of this lesson plan.
    (Downloads – 8PageBooklet.pdf) 
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Draw your character on the paper side of the craft foam.
  2. Make sure it fills the whole space.
  3. Cut out the shape. 
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Peel the paper off the craft foam.
  2. Stick the craft foam shape onto the foam core board. 
  3. This is your stamp for making prints.
  4. You can make marks on the craft foam by drawing or poking it with a ball point pen. 
  5. Press hard with the pen to leave an indent in the craft foam.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Use the flat side of a marker tip to put ink on the foam.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Place the stamp on the book and press hard to make the print. 
  2. Remove the stamp to see your print.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Use a fine line marker to add details to the print.
A TALE FOR ALL – Printmaking, Storytelling, Audience - Step Ten

Step Ten

  1. Print the character on the remaining pages of the book.
  2. Add more details with fine line marker and other stamps. 
  3. You may want to add googly eyes.
  4. Let the details guide the story.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a variety of lines and shapes using simple relief prints;
  • create an 8-page book;
  • create a printing stamp of a character for their story;
  • create a visual story;
  • interpret three visual stories;
  • explain their process; 
  • express opinions about their own and others' stories.


Have students:


  1. Create a sample book.
  2. Pre-cut the craft foam and foam core board - 5 cm x 10 cm (2" x 4").
  3. Organize the printmaking materials in small baskets, enough for 5 or 6 groups.
  4. Place students into groups of about 6 so they can share materials and ideas.
  5. Download the instruction sheet for the 8-page book - enough for 1 per student. (Downloads – 8PageBooklet.pdf)
  6. Teach students how to make the 8-page book in various sizes, and allow some time for them to practice making them.
  7. Teach/review characterisitics of good stories, for example,
    - Hook at beginning
    - Main character who must achieve a goal
    - A problem to be solved
    - A satisfying solution
  8. Introduce the idea that media are interpreted through individual lenses.
    ​- Different people experience the same media message differently.
    ​- People bring different experiences to the text and this causes them to see it through those experiences.



  1. Use your sample book to tell a story.
  2. Explain how you made it.
  3. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a variety of lines and shapes using simple relief prints.
  2. Create an 8-page book.
  3. Create a printing stamp of a character for your story.
  4. Create a visual story.
  5. Interpret three visual stories.
  6. Explain your process.
  7. Express opinions about your own and others' stories.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    created a variety of lines and shapes on my paper
    - included  visual details to develop the story
    - created a character stamp
    - repeated the character stamp throughout the story
    - told a story based on visual details in the book
    - included 4 characterisitics of a good story in my tale
    - interpreted three different stories
    - created an 8-page book that is in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Encourage students to think of how they can use contrast to create areas of emphasis.
  5. Observe students as they work. 
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


Have students:

  1. Work with 3 different partners.
  2. Interpret each story as they see it without having heard the other versions.
  3. Once all the stories have been told in partners, work in your group to listen to all of the versions including the author’s.
  4. Discuss what they discovered. 
    - How are the stories the same?
    - How are the stories different?
    - What did this story remind you of?
    - How did you decide what the story was about?
    - Whose version of the story is correct?
    - How do you know?
  5. Invite some students to share their ideas with the whole class.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their stories – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the book, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the story and the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Tale_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to reflect on their work. (Downloads - Tale_self-assessment.pdf)