Creative Storytelling: Evaluating Problem Solving in Children's Invented Stories

Ahmed Mohamed, C. June Maker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most important functions of storytelling is to help individuals solve problems that can be of significance in their daily lives. The purpose of this study was to discover new criteria to use when assessing the quality of children's invented stories as examples of their linguistic problem solving ability. Three children's stories, told during a Discovering Intellectual Strengths and Capabilities while Observing Varied Ethnic Responses (DISCOVER) Assessment and analyzed by trained observers, were re-analyzed using the high point micro analysis (Labov, 1972; Peterson & McCabe, 1983) and the Narrative Assessment Profile (Stubbs, 1983). Teachers and other observers, who assigned ratings to children's work focused on certain linguistic conventions, and because of this focus, missed other important qualities of stories. A new list of characteristics, including such traits as using “openers and closers”, using adverbs and quantifiers, and varied linguistic forms was proposed. This list of characteristics can be helpful to teachers who assess the quality of children's invented stories as well as observers who assess students' linguistic problem solving during the DISCOVER Assessment debriefing sessions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-348
Number of pages22
JournalGifted Education International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • invented stories
  • problem solving
  • storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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