Learning Story Examples and Templates

A collection of learning story examples are provided below to assist educators in discovering how various learning stories can be captured within EarlyWorks.

These examples include:

For general information about Learning Stories, visit the Learning Story Observations information page.

Group Learning Story Format Example

Colours, Colours everywhere! – May 2017 (Kindy)


Making Green

Discovering the colour Aqua

Observation Date: 10 Jun 2017

Created By: Emma Davidson

Observation Style: Learning Story

Preceding Experience(s)

Spontaneous

Children

Adam, Emma, Finn

Observation Narrative 

I noticed Emma, Finn and Adam sitting together on the concrete. Emma seemed to be experimenting with a paint brush and a cup of water by painting onto the concrete. Emma was using the paintbrush to paint long strokes on the concrete. She watched as the water disappeared with the warmth of the sun.  “Would you like some colour? I asked her with the hope to extend her self-initiated experience. “Yea” she replied excitedly.

I added some purple food dye to one cup, and yellow in the other which sparked an interest with Finn and Adam. All the children began exploring the concept of colour on the ground. “I’m making it change colour, it’s going grey! “Said Adam, as he mixed the yellow and purple together. “Now it is turning brown” he added, looking closely at the coloured water. “Mine is turning brown too.” Added Emma. “I’m making it a bit darker” said Finn, he had just added two colours together and the water colour deepened.

The children continued applying the dye to the concrete, constantly communicating their ideas as the experiment progressed. “I’m painting ducks” said Emma. She put a stone onto the concrete and painted a circle around it. Adam picked up and painted some leaves found nearby. “Look, it’s changing colour!” Said Finn, as he added some water to his cup. “It is changing to red!” exclaimed Adam, looking at Finns colour as he added more water to the purple, changing its appearance.

“I wonder why it’s changing? “I asked to provoke thought. “With some more paint in it” answered Adam. I went to find two more colours to add to the evolving experiment. “It’s blue” said Finn, as he brushed the blue dye along the ground. “No, it’s green” replied Adam. “It looks a bit like blue and green doesn’t it” I added. “It is called aqua, like the colour of the ocean, bluey, green!” Emma mixed some blue and yellow together. “I made green” she said surprised by her own discovery. “That’s right, blue and yellow make green”. I Replied. “I made a different green too Emma” said Finn. “I made a different colour too” added Adam, making a lighter blue with water. The experience then continued over to the drain puddle. Finn added some sand to the blue dye. “I made pale blue” he said. “It’s all black colour now” said Adam, as the colour appeared very dark over the drain. The children swished the colour around in the puddle for quite some time.

Children‘s Voices

Adam
Adam was really eager to hear his learning story. He asked if we could read it with his mum the very next morning. When we spoke about the mixing of colours he said, “see mum, I made Aqua – like your favourite”. Adam’s mum said that he has been finding everything Aqua since yesterday and that she had told him that it was her favourite colour.

Emma
Emma arrived today (next day) I asked if she would like to come and read her learning story with me. She smiled and said, “The one about the colours?” We read the learning story and looked at the pictures that I had included. Emma was excited about the prospect of a potion station and said that she can’t wait to mix more colours and potions like a wizard. Emma was very excited to be called a scientist and as soon as we had finished she ran up to her friend, Amy to tell her that she is a scientist now.

Finn
Finn was away for a few days and it was a week before we were able to read this learning story with him. Finn looked at me with a cheeky smile when I said that they were scientists and said “Really? We are the same as a scientist?” I explained that scientist do experiments and find out new things and that is what he and his friends had done. “wow, can I make more colours now?” Finn asked and questioned where the potion station was. I showed him that we had started the potion station but had wanted to wait for him to finish adding the things that we would need. He said, “Thanks for waiting for me – cause we scientists got to work together”.

Reflection of Learning

Emma, Finn and Adam, you each created your own unique colours today. The most exciting things is that you all became scientists in the ways that you each continued to try new ways to make colours and to then change the colours you had made into something new. You learnt that adding more of a colour to the water turned the colour darker and that blue and yellow make the colour green. You shared what you were creating and learning along the way with your friends and each of you learnt more through listening to each other. You discovered a new colour name and learnt that aqua looks like a mixture of blue and green. All of you began to understand that you can make colours lighter and darker.  You were all so interested in the way that you can change and create colours that you continued this exploration for a very long time, showing that you enjoy experimenting in this way.

Observed Outcomes

Outcome Group 4: Children are confident and involved learners

4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem-solving inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

Outcome Group 5: Children are effective communicators

5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes

Adam: Adam communicated his understanding of the colours changing and that he knows the names of colours

Emma: Finn spoke to his friends about the changing colours and conveyed that he understood the concept of lighter and darker.

Finn: Finn communicated that he has an understanding of shades when he told his friends that he is making the colour darker.

Next Steps

Emma, Adam and Finn are enthusiastic about experimenting and intrigued by their ability to create and change something. We can explore the learning process of experimentation, trial and error, cause and effect more deeply with them by introducing a “Potion Station” where they can experiment further with colours. This could be facilitated with clear beakers to best see the colour mixing, blotting paper to test out the colours and maybe a light table to enhance their vision of the end result. I would like to also encourage the children to photograph their own before and after results.

Scientists experiment – Potion Station (May 2017)

Toddlers Learning Story Format Example

Building a Tall Tower – May 2017 (Toddlers)


Building the block towers side by side

The first towers that Kaetlyn built begun to lean and toppled over

With some help, Kaetlyn learnt a way to build a stronger tower.

Observation Date: 10 Jun 2017

Created By: Emma Davidson

Observation Style: Learning Story

Preceding Experience(s)

Spontaneous

Children

Kaetlyn

Observation Narrative 

A variety of wooden blocks had been set up on the table today, some had connectors a little like Lego whilst others were flat. Kaetlyn was building with the small wooden blocks with connectors when I noticed her deep in concentration.

Kaetlyn was selecting all the same sized blocks and starting to stack them in two towers next to each other. As they got taller they started to wobble and lean away from each other, finally falling over and spilling blocks across the table and floor.

Paige (educator) was watching and showed Kaetlyn a trick of linking the blocks together to make a stronger tower. Instead of placing the blocks in the same direction Paige showed Kaetlyn how to criss cross the blocks. As Kaetlyn began to rebuild her tower, she checked that she was doing it right by asking Paige and then looking at the blocks from the side so she could tell if they were the right way around. As the tower got taller, Kaetlyn could no longer reach the top and tried to pick up the tower to put it onto the floor. It was heavy and difficult so Kaetlyn stopped and looked at Paige for assistance.

Paige asked if Kaetlyn wanted her to help and Kaetlyn nodded.

With the tower now on the floor, Kaetlyn was able to kneel next to it and continue adding blocks until the tower was all tall as her! Kaetlyn had also run out of blocks of the same size.

Paige suggested that she could use some of the other blocks that were the same shape only taller. Kaetlyn kept trying to find more of the same size and shaped blocks as she didn’t like this option. Kaetlyn likes things to be “just so”.

Realising that there really were no more blocks in the size that she wanted, Kaetlyn compromised and began adding the other blocks. After a few blocks were added, Kaetlyn seemed to change her mind about the blocks being on the floor and she started to lift the blocks four at a time back onto the table.

Kaetlyn was careful that she was putting them back together the way that she had been shown and checked the sides of the blocks as she placed them back together.


Kaetly builds her tower on the floor so she can make it taller

Assessing her tall tower

Kaetlyn then transferred the tower back onto the table

Reflection of Learning

Kaetlyn, you were so committed to building a tall, strong tower. You built two towers by yourself and could see that you needed to do something differently to stop the tower falling. You knew that you could ask Paige for help and really understood her suggestion in making the tower stronger.

You remembered how Paige showed you and kept checking your work, ensuring that the tower stayed strong. You learnt a way to solve a problem.

You showed that you are such a thinker in the way that you realised you could not reach the top of the tower anymore and knew that if you placed it on the floor you could keep going.

I loved your determination in keeping the same size blocks and that you wanted to keep the tower with the same sized blocks. You were able to accept that there were no more and compromised so that you could keep building.

Observed Outcomes

Outcome Group 4: Children are confident and involved learners

4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

4.2 Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

4.4 Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place technologies and natural and processed materials

Outcome Group 5: Children are effective communicators

5.1 Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes

Kaetlyn: Kaetlyn used mostly non-verbal communication to request help and assistance from her educator. She conveyed understanding of what had been said by following through with the suggestions of her educator.

Next Steps

Kaetlyn has a preference for symmetry in her constructions, not just in this example but also from past observation by all of her educators. She has shown that she can understand quite complicated direction. We would like to support her to continue to develop her focus on building tasks and following instructions.

We have construction blocks that have pictures of shapes to follow and will make these available to her and her peers.

Individual Learning Story Format Example

Making a Tattoo – May 2017 (Toddlers)


Kaetlyn began by making lines down her page

Discovering paint on her hands

Kaetlyn’s Masterpiece

Observation Date: 10 Jun 2017

Created By: Emma Davidson

Observation Style: Learning Story

Preceding Experience(s)

Spontaneous

Children

Kaetlyn

Observation Narrative 

We were introducing the toddler children to painting with cotton tips to provide an experience with non-conventional painting tools. I wasn’t expecting the direction that this experience would be taken on.

Initially, Kaeltyn made deliberate lines down the page.

Kaetlyn noticed that she had some paint on her hands and began to deliberately paint her fingers and hand with the cotton tip.

“ook, me making tattoo!” Kaetlyn said excitedly.

Evie, said “I’m making a tattoo too!” and began to paint her fingers and hands.

Kaetlyn then began to smear the paint up her arm, fascinated by her new tattoo. She looked at me as if to check if this was okay. I told her that it was special paint today and that it was ok. She encouraged her friend to do the same saying “tattoo, tattoo”

Kaetlyn would show me and her friends each time she added more paint to her arm, even dabbing her paint covered hands onto her face.

Kaetlyn’s Mum’s Voice

Oh this is so funny! Kaetlyn noticed my tattoo on my shoulder over the weekend. She saw it and tried to rub it off saying ‘uh oh, mama’ as if I was naughty for drawing on myself. I did my best in explaining that it was not a drawing but a tattoo and that it doesn’t go away. She then wanted to show everyone my tattoo all weekend saying ‘Ook, Mama dot Tattoo’, I thought that she would forget all about it. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.”


Making a Tattoo!

Look at the joy when showing off her body art

Even adding a little to her face

Reflection of Learning

Oh Kaetlyn, you made me laugh today. I am not sure where you learnt about tattoos, but you shared that you had understood and made the connection that they were art on the body.

You wanted to share this with your friends and engaged them in experimenting with the paint in a way that we hadn’t done before.

The joy and delight you showed whilst being allowed to express this was overwhelming.

Remember that we used special paint today that made it ok to paint on our bodies. You did the right thing by checking with me first.

Observed Outcomes

Outcome Group 4: Children are confident and involved learners

4.1 Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

4.3 Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another

Kaetlyn: Kaetlyn transfers her knowledge and current understandings of a tattoo to being similar to painting her body

Next Steps

Though Kaetlyn spoke about tattoo’s in this experience, on reflection I feel that it was the sensory sensation that made this experience continue beyond just painting the fingers and not the idea of a tattoo. We have not really explored whole body sensory exploration and tend to focus this on hands exploring the textures only.

We would like to provide additional whole body sensory exploration and feel that we can do this through a range of experiences and provocations. Educators have brain stormed ways that we can provide this type of exploration.

  • Balloons filled with sand can be used in a large wading pool
  • streamers hanging down that allow the whole body to feel the soft textures for exploration
  • Reintroducing a brushes treasure basket that this particular group of children use to explore in the babies room.