the umbrella hat

If I could be a five-year-old story writer, THIS is the story I would dream of inventing. There is mystery, intrigue, child-power, adventure, kindness, religion, quirkiness, truth, joy and cleverness.
It is a story that I had the privilege of documenting many years ago.
This is the story that made me say, "Oohhhhhh, so THIS is how a story can be told by a child. Oh, so this is how a teacher should LISTEN to a child to get the story told. Oohhhh, now I got it."

Ironically, for many of you who are familiar with Vygotsky's ZPD (zone of proximal development) - "scaffolding" - I realized that on the day that this story was created, Hillary, the author, was the one who scaffolded my technique of how to uplift childrens multi-page stories. 
Being a teacher means always being a learner. Thank you Hillary.

Lilly's Umbrella Hat, by Hillary.

Page 1.
This is a girl with an
umbrella hat.
Her name is Lilly.

Page 2.
Lilly went to her garden and wanted to plant a flower, which was a daisy.

Page 3.
She went to the beach then. Here is the shovel she used to scoop up the sand off the beach and she could make a sand castle. 
You cannot see Lilly because she is swimming underwater. Lilly knows how to swim.

Page 4.
Lilly was inside the rainbow because she found the ladder that goes up there and she climbed up.
She was o.k. up there.
You can see a little brown - that is Lilly's head - because she cleaned the black window a little to see out.

Page 5.
Lilly had dug a deep hole in the front yard. This tulip grew.
Then Lilly dug another hole and climbed underground.
So, you cannot see her again.

Page 6.
Lilly saw a low cloud so
she climbed up a flower to the cloud and then to this cloud and then to another cloud and then
to the sky.
Through the cracks in the sky,
Lilly could see God.

Page 7.
This is a baby flower that just got planted. Lilly is underground printing on the computer.
You still cannot see her because she always goes a lot of places.
Sometimes, she swims through puddles.

Page 8.
The End.

Things to note about Hillary: She was the daughter of a single mom. Her mom had her own gardening company. Hillary and her little sister were both spirited, happy girls who were allowed to experiment on the computer, help in the garden, and express themselves. Hillary's mom was warmly protective yet encouraged the girls to be independent. Hillary's world at the time - her family - was the culture that she incorporated into such strong elements in her Umbrella Hat story.

"If there is a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet,
then you must write it."
Toni Morrison.


  1. I like the torn paper mounting you (I assume it was you) did for Hillary's artwork.
    You are my scaffold, Miss Jeanne.

  2. This is a great story, very impressive for a five year
    old....excellent display too!


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