Handa’s Surprise Picture book £6.99, big book £19.99
For this story we decorated a plastic by covering it with strips of paper to represent Handa’s basket. The we used sponge fruit shapes to create picture of the different fruits. We took it in turns to be Handa carrying the bowl and the rest of the group took fruit from the bowl and in the end putting the tangerines in.
Owl Babies is fast becoming a firm favourite with me. There are so many things you can discuss from the story. Such as how we try and sound brave when we are scared, feelings about being lost and about how we love our mums. I have told this story often in the run up to Mother’s Day.
For this story we created finger puppets.
Here is a template for the puppets.
We then decorated them with feathers and retold the story using the back of chairs for branches. It would have been fantastic to do this story outside with an old branch. Unfortunately the weather was pretty awful on the day we did this.
Get the children to go through the sequence of the story this is where story talk cards come in handy. Retelling the story really gets the children into the repeated rhythms of the book. The finger puppets help those reluctant to speak or those with EAL to join in.
This story is often one I use when teaching early years practitioners how to use Big Books and Puppets with Children with EAL.
I started the session with my reception group by telling the story. We then created our farm animals ready to retell the story using a story box.
The templates for the characters are below or alternatively you could use these great wooden characters.
I had created the box from a cardboard box I had, I cut off the flaps and one of the side panels. I then painted the remaining sides light blue and covered the base in green felt. I then cut out some hills and sun in paper and some strips of white paper for a picket fence.
We then created the farmer’s bed from a vegetable container. I snapped it at two corners and raised the side to make a headboard. We then covered it in pieces of felt.
The children then had a great time retelling the story using the box.
We had a bit of fun this week as it was the last session before the Easter break. We look at how there are lots of stories about how the Easter bunny came about.
Literacy Lesson Idea
Once we had made a bunny I asked them to come up with with a story about how the bunny they had made came to be the Easter bunny. They could make up their own or use bits from some of the stories they had heard.
Whilst reading yesterday’s letter to the The Telegraph from leading educationists I was pleased to see their call for a more play based curriculum.
Inevitably the media has focused on the call for children to start school later, this has meant the call for more play based learning has been overshadowed. This letter and most studies have focused on play based learning for the under 5s. I believe play based learning has a role at all ages. When we have a good experience whilst learning we retain the knowledge better. We have something to ground that knowledge to. For instance <blog_break>when I’m in schools telling our Chest of Dreams story there is a section where the characters follow the points of a compass to lead them to the treasure. So whilst I’m telling the story or just after I get the kids to follow the directions in the book. As the children have experience of using the compass points during the game they remember them. Should later on they need to recall the information they can go back in their minds to that experience.
Play based learning is also valuable for dyslexics as they learn best through a multi sensory approach. If they were to read the same information about the compass points, they may struggle to understand it as their concentration will be on reading the words rather than understanding the meaning. However if they learn through experience they are more receptive and can easily understand the meaning. As dyslexia is massively under diagnosed there maybe many undiagnosed children in a class.
So I think Mr Gove’s dismissal of the letter mean that he is missing a great opportunity to give kids a lasting education rather than just equipping children to past tests and putting a whole group of kids at a disadvantage.