Meaningful play designed the maker way


Welcome to StoryMakers

We invite you to join our maker community. Let’s begin our journey together and imagine powerful experiences and spaces where children can have a better education, rooted in play, and opportunities to grow as artists, collagists, builders, sculptors, performers, inventors, storytellers, and writers…makers.

"I am a maker and a thinker.
I imagine, play, hack, and tinker. Empty spaces and stuff are all I need to showcase my ideas for the world to see."

Thompson and Compton, 2020

StoryMaking: The Maker Movement Approach to Literacy for Early Learners

StoryMaking is a first-to-market book that combines the maker movement with storytelling and story creation, Reggio-inspired methods, and the importance of play to move all children forward in their literacy learning.

StoryMaking is defined as a process of imagining stories and information to share with others as children engage in hands-on play and STEAM making experiences.

The lessons, anchor charts and making experiences with open-ended materials provided in this book along with over 150 full-color photos, will help children discover their stories to share . Children will then be invited to make a physical representation of the elements of their story or detailed information before they share through storytelling, writing or another form of the “hundred languages” with the materials in their learning environments.

Other Resources for STEAM and Literacy Learning

Design STEAM Makerspaces for young learners! We define a makerspace as any place where children of ALL AGES use materials and tools to imagine, play, make, and share their ideas, projects, stories, or thinking.

Field tested in real classrooms, home settings, libraries, and museums, we offer practical suggestions, student samples, implementers’ suggestions, over 300 full-color demonstrative photographs, anchor charts, and many other forms of documentation.

Makerspaces will ensure the maker movement is accessible to all those who work with young children, ages two to eight, and guide you to:

        • Engage young children in maker-centered learning
        • Design and introduce makerspaces
        • Select and use open-ended tools and materials

Our Story

We (Michelle and Robin) worked in a public school district that has over 50,000 students enrolled, PreK – 12th grade when StoryMaking was born. What started out as an initiative to research innovative oral language best practices to meet the needs of the prekindergarten children has now expanded into several publications, new curriculum (in the shop now) and teacher resource cards (coming soon) for up to second grade! We continue to research and develop ideas that align to the maker movement, keeping play at the center of learning for all children.


I have been in the educational field for 20 years and am a consultant and national speaker that supports early learning educators in the implementation of StoryMaking, STEAM, literacy practices as well as transforming classroom environments by designing makerspaces. I continue to work as an educator with a children’s museum and in early learning classrooms. I hold a Master’s Degree in Varying Exceptionalities from the University of South Florida and am endorsed in Gifted, Reading and ESOL. These specialties allow me to design learning environments and curriculum for a wide variety of students’ needs. Throughout my career, I have experience in coaching, designing curriculum aligned to standards collaboratively with teachers and providing training to teachers within the district, state and national level related to reading and writing instruction, inquiry practices, and content area literacy. I have been blessed with diverse opportunities in the field of education to be a special education teacher, literacy coach, International Baccalaureate Coordinator of a Primary Years Programme school, and an Early Learning District Specialist . Robin and I continue to innovate, research the field, design and tinker with new makerspaces and share our journey with our online StoryMaking community to support all educators implementing STEAM, Maker’s Movement practices and our own StoryMaking mission.


My work in education spans 25 years. My Master’s degree in Elementary Education, ESOL endorsement, certification in K-12 Reading, and certification in Preschool Education provide me with a strong knowledge base in the teaching and learning processes. At the school level, I have been a teacher, literacy coach, and curriculum coordinator. After earning my Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Childhood Reading and Language Arts, I worked as an instructor at the University of South Florida where I supervised interns, taught literacy, assessment, and writing courses in the College of Education. Currently I serve as the Director of Early Learning in the School District of Manatee County, where curriculum design and implementation for PreK – 2 has been a focus area for my work. The best part of my job is that I get to play with four-year-olds and work with teachers every day! My areas of special interest include the role of play in early learning, multimodal literacies in young children’s lives, and learning through making. Since implementing StoryMaking in some of our preschool classrooms, our local museum and our library, I have studied formal and informal learning environments, researched learning spaces, and worked with Michelle to develop learning continuums associated with open-ended materials used in the makers’ movement, and specifically StoryMaking.

Ready to Learn More?

(941) 500-5663

available from 8:00 – 5:00 M-F

StoryMakers LLC

1705 4th St. W. Palmetto FL 34221