Posted in Bear Hunt, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Drama based on the Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

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Watch Michael Rosen perform the Bear Hunt.


Ask the children what do they know about bears.
Here are 10 fun facts about bears.
There are eight species of bear: American black, polar, giant panda, Asiatic black, sloth bears, sun bears, spectacled bears and brown bears.
Bears are mammals. What other mammals do you know?
Bears can run at speeds up to 45km per hour
A male bear is known as a boar and a female is known as a sow. What other animals are known as boar and a sow?
Unlike many mammals, bears see in colour.
Grizzly bears can remember the faces of other bears they have not seen for 10 years or more.
Polar bears are the largest predators on earth. Do you know any other large predators?
Bears have an excellent sense of smell.
A group of bears is called a sloth.
Bears have great memories.

Tell the children that they are going on a bear hunt. Teach them the following chant.
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
What do we need to go on a bear hunt? Ask the children what sort of things do they need to pack in their bags. Sunglasses, sun cream, binoculars, sandwiches, water etc. Go around the circle, eachchild gets an opportunity to mime putting an item in their bag.

When everyone is ready chant:
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
What do we see?
Long tall grass, uh oh. What shall we do? Can we go under? Can we go over it? Oh no, we have to go through it? All the children push their through the grass. They push it out of the way. They help each other. They all say swishy swash, swishy swash, swishy swash as they go.
Finally everyone is out of the grass.


Everyone chants:
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
What do we see?
A deep, cold river, uh oh. What shall we do? Can we go under it? Can we go over it? Oh no, we have to go through it? All the children jump into the river and start to swim. They all say splish splosh, splish splosh, splish, splosh as they go. They climb out of the river and continue their way.

Everyone chants:
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
What do we see?
Thick oozy mud, uh oh. What shall we do? Can we go under it? Can we go over it? Oh no, we have to go through it? All the children walk through the mud. They get stuck and they help each other to get out of it. They all say squish squelch, squish squelch, squish squelch, as they go. Finally everyone is out of the mud and continue on their way.

Everyone chants:
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
squish squelch,
What do we see?
A big, dark forest. , uh oh. What shall we do? Can we go under it? Can we go over it? Oh no, we have to go through it? All the children walk through the first slowly. They all say stumble trap. Stumble trip, stumble trip. They finally come out the other end of the forest and continue on their way.

Everyone chants:
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
What do we see?
A swirling, twirling snowstorm. , uh oh. What shall we do? Can we go under it? Can we go over it? Oh no, we have to go through it? All the children huddle together and walk slowly through it . They all say woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo. Finally the snow storm stops and they stop holding on to each other. cone out the other end of the forest and continue on their way.

Everyone chants:
We are going on a bear hunt, bear hunt, bear hunt.
We are going to catch a big one, big one, big one.
What a beautiful day.
We are not scared.
What do we see?
A narrow, glumy cave, uh oh. What shall we do? Can we go under it? Can we go over it? Oh no, we have to go through it? All the children and walk slowly through the cave. It’s very dark so that can’t see anything. Everyone says tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe. What do we feel? One shiny wet nose, two big furry ears, two big bulgy eyes, and some very sharp teeth. Oh my goodness it’s a bear. Everyone run quick.

Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe through the cave.
Woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo, through the snowstorm.
Stumble trip, stumble trip, stumble trip the forest.
squish squelch, squish squelch, squish squelch through the mud.
Spilsh splosh, splash splosh, splosh splosh through the river.
Swish swish, swish swish, swish swish through the grass.
Finally we get to our house. We open the door. Lock all the windows and doors. Run upstairs and hid under the bed.
We are never going on a bear hunt again.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Aesop's fabes, Drama, Drama for children, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, The Paperbag Princess

” The Paperbag Princess” by Robert Munsch

One of my favorite picture for children is “The Paperbag Princess. Click on the link above to see the full story.  Here are 10 intersting facts about it.

1. The Paper Bag Princess is a children’s book written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. It was first published on 1980 by Annick Press.

2. The plot centres around the beautiful princess Elizabeth who lives a vey privilege life inside the walls of her castle. She is engaged to be married to the handsome prince Ronald. She believes she will live happily ever after until a fire breathing dragon burns all her clothes and kidnaps her handsome prince. She has nothing to wear, so she dons a paperbag to conceal her nakedness. She cleverly outwits the dragon and rescues her handsome prince. Prince Ronald who is a narcissist is appalled at her appearance. He tells her not to come near him until she has transformed herself back into a beautiful princess. She responds by calling him a bum, gives him his marching orders and dances off into the sunset.

3. The book turns gender stereotypes on its head which considering when it was published in 1980’s shows how progressive Munsch was.

4. Although this is a feminist fairytale it also transcends gender. The book shows children how to be resourceful, have humility, have confidence and most importantly know when to walk away from a bad situation.

5. Robert Munsch first told the story to a group of children in a childcare centre in the early 1970s.

6. It was Munsch’s wife who gave him the idea. She suggested getting the princess to rescue the prince.

7. The original ending had Elizabeth’s punching Ronald in the face. The ending was considered too violent so in the end she calls him a bum and walks away.

8. It has sold over three million copies world wide.

9. In some international editions bum was changed to toad.

10. The last line is “they didn’t get married after all.”

Posted in Action Poems, Drama for children, drama for kids, English teaching games, Esl Drama, Goldilocks anD the three bears, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Movement Story for children.

 

goldilocks

All the children sit in a circle. When the children hear the following words in the story they must jump up and do the following actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher.

Goldilocks: Skip around the space.
Bear/Bears: Walk slowly and growl.
Bowl/Bowls: Clasp fingers together and stick out arms to make a round shape.
Porridge: Wiggle body up and down.
Chair/s: Squat down and stick out arms.
Bed/s: Lies straight on the floor.
First: Holds up one finger.
Second: Holds up two fingers.
Third: Holds up three fingers.

Once upon a time, there was a girl called Goldilocks. One day she decided to go for a walk in the woods. Soon she became tired. She saw a little cottage in the woods. came upon a house. She knocked, there was no answer so she decided to go inside and rest.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
“This porridge is too cold,” she said
So, she tasted the third bowl of porridge.
“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.
After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.
“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.
So she sat in the second chair.
“This chair is too big, too!” she whined.
So she tried the third and smallest chair.
“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!
Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled the Papa bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!” cried the Baby bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled the Papa bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too” said the Mama bear
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, “Help!” And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the woods. And Goldilocks never returned to the home of the three bears.

For more animal move,ent storoes/plays, click on the link below.

Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Goldilocks anD the three bears, Hans Christian Andersen, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, Therapeutic Story

Storytelling in the Early Years

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Benefits of Storytelling in the Early Years:

 Promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation
Increase children’s willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings
Encourage active participation
Increase verbal proficiency
Encourage use of imagination and creativity
Encourage cooperation between students
Enhance listening skills

Identify the children’s interest
• Animals
• Superhero stories
• Stories about thing children like to do – getting dirt, playing with friends, first experiences.
Where do you find good stories?
• Made up stories
• Picture books
• Family stories.

Key elements of a successful story time
• Know and like your story
• Know and like your audience
• Make sure they match each other
• Be flexible.

The secret to making stories exciting and fun
• Vocal production
• Body Language.

Vocal Production
The following three core elements of vocal production need to be understood for anyone wishing to be an effective speaker:
• Volume – to be heard.
• Clarity – to be understood.
• Variety – to add interest.

Volume
This is not a question of treating the voice like the volume control on the TV remote. Some people have naturally soft voices and physically cannot bellow. Additionally, if the voice is raised too much, tonal quality is lost. Instead of raising the voice it should be ‘projected out’. Support the voice with lots of breath – the further you want to project the voice out, the more breath you need.
When talking to a group or meeting, it is important to never aim your talk to the front row or just to the people nearest you, but to consciously project what you have to say to those furthest away. By developing a strong voice, as opposed to a loud voice, you will be seen as someone positive.

Clarity
Some people tend to speak through clenched teeth and with little movement of their lips. It is this inability to open mouths and failure to make speech sounds with precision that is the root cause of inaudibility. The sound is locked into the mouth and not let out. To have good articulation it is important to unclench the jaw, open the mouth and give full benefit to each sound you make, paying particular attention to the ends of words. This will also help your audience as a certain amount of lip-reading will be possible.

Variety
To make speech effective and interesting, certain techniques can be applied. However, it is important not to sound false or as if you are giving a performance. Whilst words convey meaning, how they are said reflects feelings and emotions. Vocal variety can be achieved by variations in:
Pace: This is the speed at which you talk. If speech is too fast then the listeners will not have time to assimilate what is being said. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to vary the pace – quickening up at times and then slowing down – this will help to maintain interest.
Volume: By raising or lowering volume occasionally, you can create emphasis. If you drop your voice to almost a whisper (as long as it is projected) for a sentence or two, it will make your audience suddenly alert, be careful not to overuse this technique.
Pitch – Inflection – Emphasis: When speaking in public, try to convey the information with as much vocal energy and enthusiasm as possible. This does not mean your voice has to swoop and dive all over the place in an uncontrolled manner. Try to make the talk interesting and remember that when you are nervous or even excited, vocal chords tense and shorten causing the voice to get higher. Emphasise certain words and phrases within the talk to convey their importance and help to add variety.
Pause: Pauses are powerful. They can be used for effect to highlight the preceding statement or to gain attention before an important message. Pauses mean silence for a few seconds. Listeners interpret meaning during pauses so have the courage to stay silent for up to five seconds – dramatic pauses like this convey authority and confidence.

BodyLanguage
Remember that you can convey so many feelings, attitudes and actions with your body. Apart from expressing emotion, you can use your body to act out character’s descriptions or episodes within the story.Bring your whole body into the story and you are onto a winning storytelling technique.For example, how would you act out a cowboy galloping along on his horse? This would probably involve your legs, your arms and moving your whole body in imitation of the rider.Bring your pirate to life by closing one eye to illustrate his patched eye, clench your fist and stick out a hooked finger for his ‘hook’ hand, and limp along for his peg leg. How would you act out a Ninja? You might do karate chops and raise your leg into the air as well as jerky head movements.

Ways to practice your storytelling technique
Record on your phone
• A mirror will let you observe your face and body
• Going over it in your head while driving, walking or on a bus. This will bring out the imaginative sparks.
• Relax and taking it too seriously will lead to a lack of enthusiasm and fun.

Participation stories
Children love to move, to see things develop in front of them and they love to talk, laugh and make themselves part of the story.
• Refairns -Breathing – take a deep breath just before you want to join them. “And the the giant said …..”
• Hand gestures
• Conduct the children with a sweeping motion
• Children will begin repeating when repetition become obvious, if you let them know what you want.
Actions
How to make sure the children are focused during story time
Play a game of Magic Glue. Get everybody to stand up. Tell them to pick up their right leg with your hands. Now stick it to the floor with the magic glue. Push it down really hard in to the ground. Ask them “Is it stuck? Everybody stuck? Good, Now your left leg. Can you move your feet off the floor? You can show all sort of movements as you show them your feet is stuck to the floor. Have fun with it. Say things like “let’s run with our feet stuck to the floor, let jump with our feet stuck to floor, let’s skip with our feet stuck to the floor.
Sounds
• Insert sounds for words such as bell – ringing sound, giant – stomping sound.
Individual parts
If you are going to do this choose a very repetitive story such as Goldilocks and the three bears.

Game: Pop-up Story Book
Age: 3 years+
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space, a story book.
Other Benefits: This is an excellent listening game that can be played with any number of children. It helps them to engage in the storytelling process.
Instructions: The teacher chooses a story to read that the children are familiar with. Each child is given a word. For example if the teacher was reading ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, child A is given the word Goldilocks, child B, baby, child C, porridge, child D, bed and so on. When each child has been given a word the game can begin. All the children lie on the floor. When the child hears his/her word s/he must jump up. If they miss their turn they are out and can’t pop-up anymore.

Movement Story

The-Hare-And-The-Tortoise-001

Read the following movement story to the children. When they hear any of words underlined they must do the corresponding action. The teacher should go through each action at the beginning.
Boast/boastful/boasting – stand up straight and puff out chest
Woods – children make themselves into trees.
Animals – each child choose a different animal found in the woods and move like that animal.
Hare – make bunny ears with your hands.
Fast – children move as fast as they can
Run/ran – run on the spot
Tortoise – children bend over as if they have something heavy on their back.
Slow/slowly – children move in slow motion around the room.
Once upon a time there was a very boastful hare who lived in a woods with lots of other animals. He was always boasting about how fast he could run. He boasted “I’m the fastest animal in the woods. No one can run as fast as me.” The other animals were tired of listening to him. One day the tortoise said to the hareHare, you are so boastful. I challenge you to race.” Hare laughed and said “Tortoise, you will never beat me. You are too slow and steady.” They decided whoever got to the other side of the woods the fastest was the winner. All the other animals in the woods came to watch the race. The hare ran as fast as he could through the woods. After a while he thought to himself “I’m so fast that slow tortoise will never beat me. I think I will take a quick nap.” Soon, he fell asleep. The tortoise walked slowly through the woods. He passed the sleeping hare. The animals watched the tortoise near the finishing line. The animals cheered loudly. The hare woke up and ran as fast as he could through the woods to the finishing line but it was too late. The slow tortoise had won the race. All the animals in the wood congratulated the tortoise. The hare had to remind himself that he shouldn’t boast about his fast pace because slow and steady won the race.

More Movement Stories and Activities can be found in Movememt Start. Click below.

Other Storytelling Techniques

IMG_0284Story Stones

This is an excellent storytelling technique. Collect stones and put little pictures on them. Each child chooses a stone and the group can make a collective story.

The pictures on the stones influence the direction of the story. Once the children get use to idea of telling stories, you can get them to share their own stories. The story stones can be used to explore tell individual stories.

 

Story Path

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This story telling technique is known as a story path. It is fun and inexpensive. The children take it in turns to travel along a path which is a long sheet of paper with a hand drawn path and various images in order to tell a story. The story can be focused or they can make up the story as they go, The children can help create the path. The teacher can discuss the important elements of the story and deciding on appropriate images or cues can be a group decision.

Storytelling Jar

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To keep storytelling fun and exciting you can use a storytelling Jar. Fill the jar with coloured notes and on each not put a word or a picture. Everyone selects a note and the story can be decisive from the note. This can be a collective story or children can individually tell a story.

Story Cubes

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Just like the story stones and storytelling prompts jar, the DIY stone cubes can be used to provide some inspiration on how to start your story. Follow the instructions over at the “grey luster girl” website to create your own story cubes. Once done, you can toss the cubes around and see what object they land on. Whatever you land on, that’s the object you can include in your storytelling! You can also use multiple story cubes to structure your story. For example your story cubes can be used decide on the hero in your story, the setting, the villain and any other extra props to include.
http://greylustergirl.com/diy-story-cubes-travel-game/
You can also buy story cubes at https://www.storycubes.com

Story Sacks

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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
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/3210/Story_sack_guide.pdf
http://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/story-sack-resource-pac

Posted in Drama, Drama for children, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

A Fun Movement Story for Children- The Hungry Tree

the_hungry_tree_by_wytrab8-d41thrg

· Age: 5+
· Minimum number of participants: 3
· Resources needed: Clear space.
· Other Benefits: This is an excellent introduction to improvisation as the children are free to explore their imaginations. It also helps with their coordination skills.
· Instructions: The teacher tells the children the following story and they have to improvise the movements in the story. The teacher gets the children to imagine they are an adventurer who wants to go on an adventure. They have topack up their bags. The teacher asks what they need in the bags. Children’s answers are usually for example water, sandwiches, sun cream, and sunglasses and so on. The children mime putting all these essentials into their bag and then mime all the actions in the adventure below. The teacher says imagine you are walking quickly because you are so happy to be on your adventure. You see a mountain and decide you should climb it. The sun is getting hotter and hotter and you are getting tired. You get very, very tired. You wipe your brow to show how tired you are. You begin to climb slower and slower. You are very thirsty. You take out your water and take a drink. You put it back in your bag and climb the rest of the way up the mountain. Eventually you get to the top. You are exhausted, very hot and very hungry. You decide it is time for your picnic. You see a lovely tree and you go and sit under its shade. You eat your picnic and go for a nap. Then suddenly you wake up and see the tree moving towards you. The tree grabs you and you realise it is a very hungry tree and wants to eat you. You scream. You struggle. You fight the branches but you are getting weaker and weaker. Then suddenly the tree stops fighting for a moment. You get your chance to escape. You quickly grab your bag, and run back down the mountain. You get to the end and you don’t stop in case the hungry tree is running after you. You run all the way home, lock all the doors and hide under the table.

For more movement games, poetry and stories click on the link below.

 

Posted in Aesop's fabes, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Legends, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

The Thirsty Crow – A 5 minute Playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, crow, bees, ladybirds, butterflies.

Storyteller 1: One fine morning the crow woke up. He was very hungry.
Storyteller 2: He decided to go looking for some breakfast.
Storyteller 3: Soon, he came across some juicy flies. (Crow eats the flies.)
Crow: That was delicious but now I’m really thirsty.
Storyteller 1: The crow flew around and he came across a pitcher.
Crow: At last, I found some water.
Storyteller 3: He pushed his beak into the pitcher.
Storyteller 1: But his beak was too big and he couldn’t reach the water.
Crow: Ouch, my poor beak. I’m so thirsty. What will I do now?
Storyteller 2: Soon some bees came buzzing by.
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Bees: Why don’t you tip the pitcher over and pour it out?
Crow: That won’t work because the water will spill everywhere.
Storyteller 1: The crow was very sad.
Storyteller 2: After a while some ladybirds walked by.
Ladybirds: What’s the matter, Crow?
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Ladybirds: Why don’t you break the pitcher with one of these stones? (They pick up some stones and Crow: That won’t work because the water will spill everywhere.
Storyteller 3: Soon, some butterflies flew by.
Butterflies: What’s the matter, Crow?
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Butterflies: Why don’t you put these stones into the pitcher and the water level will rise and then Crow: What a good idea. (He picks up stones and puts them in the pitcher one by one. The butterflies help Storyteller 1: Eventually the water rose to the top.
Crow: Now, I can reach the water.
Storyteller 1: The crow drank and drank until he was satisfied.
Storyteller 2: Then she flew off to enjoy the rest of her day.
Storyteller 3: The moral of the story is …….where there is a will, there is a way..

Posted in Drama for children, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

What is a STORY SACK?

img_0152

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
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/3210/Story_sack_guide.pdf
http://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/story-sack-resource-packs