What is a Story Sack?
A story sack is a teaching and learning resource. Typically it is a large cloth bag containing a favourite children’s books along with supporting materials to help make sharing the book more engaging and interesting.
Why make a Story Sack?
Story sacks are fun way for educators and children to share stories together, They were developed by Neil Griffiths as a popular, no threatening way to encourage educators and parents to start to share stories with children in a way that is positive, expressive, interactive and fun.
Who uses Story Sacks?
Originally, it was mainly schools and preschools that used story sacks however they are increasingly used by other groups such as childminders, libraries health visitors, speech therapists, play specialists, social workers, children’s hospitals, family centres and adult learned.
How do you make a Story Sack?
Start with a cloth bag or you can use a pillow case, a basket or a box, you just need something to contain your resources, Then you need to choose your story. You need to fill the sack with items. Here are some if things that are often included:
• Soft toys/ puppets of the main characters
• Costumes/props/scenery/photos to support the story
• An audio recording/video of the story
• A language based game
• A non related non fiction book
• Craft and activity ideas
Things to remember when choosing Story Sack items
Read and re-read your story. Ask yourself what are the main themes, who are the main characters, settings, colours, numbers, letters, sounds, communication/ listening skills. Can you incorporate first experience, new vocabulary and other topic based activities? What other activities can you link to the book that you have chosen.
Here are some ideas for story sacks based on famous stories
The hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle
• Soft toy caterpillar/butterfly
• Lifecycle of a butterfly
• Days of the weeks/number sequencing cards
• Play food props
• Non fiction books about butterflies/caterpillars
• Activity ideas – fruit printing, painting butterflies.
Little red riding hood
• A little red riding hood doll
• Puppets for wolf/grandma/woodcutter
• A basket full of flowers
• A red cloak
• Pictures of forest
• Non fiction book about the forest/wolves
• Activity ideas – recipe for making cakes for grandma.
Include some learning targets and a short guide of questions to ask/discussion points to consider and other ideas to extend the activity. Finally, it is worth laminating the activity idea cards to protect them and including a list of what is in the bag so nothing gets lost.
For more information and ideas on Story Sacks