This month’s Teach Primary includes an article about Teaching Through Stories and how stories can be used right across the curriculum. By looking at the when, where, what and how of stories and linking these to the curriculum.
The article is written by our very own Natasha Dennis and Tonya Meers.
Last week we had the pleasure of being asked to kick off Book Week at Harnham Infant School in Salisbury.
The children of the school had met Pojo previously because they had used Pojo Blows the Gunpowder Plot last November to tell the story of Guy Fawkes.
This time we told the story of Pojo Saves the Rainforest and then spent the day going into the classes to talk to them about how to put their stories together using our 7 steps to story writing.
We also gave them the challenge of writing a story with the characters from Pojo Saves the Rainforest and by the end of the day some of them had already come up with some wonderful tales of Pojo being a superdog and saving the world or meeting penguins. It’s always great to see where children’s imaginations go to when you let them.
We finished the day with a book signing and lots of the children bought other Pojo adventures. So he’s definitely proving a real hit in Salisbury!
It was great this week to see Nick Gibb MP, the Minister of State for the Department of Education, promoting storytelling as a fantastic method for teaching children.
This is something we have always known but I think it’s easy to lose sight of this amongst the never-ending pile of teaching objectives that teachers have to deal with these days.
Educating others through stories has been a teaching method since before teaching methods were ever invented. It was how you taught your children, it was how elders of villages got others to follow them and it was great entertainment as well as a way of bringing people together. Why? Because it’s a very effective way of communicating.
The benefits of learning through stories are well known:-
it widens a child’s vocabulary
it helps them to broaden their knowledge
it helps them to become confident readers
it’s more important in determining a child’s success than how much money their families have
it helps their emotional intelligence
it develops their imaginations
it builds their communication skills
it helps to embed the learning
And that’s just a short list of the benefits – there are of course many, many more!
So as Nick Gibb says, “getting lost in a good story can allow you to discover more about the world, more about humankind and more about yourself. We need to introduce our children to as many stories as we can.”
Couldn’t agree with you more Nick!!!
If you’ve not read his speech here is the link https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-importance-of-storytelling
Our Australian theme carries on this week with Wombats. We made face masks and claws this week so that we could act out our story. I really wish I had got a photo with all the children with their masks and claws but I was so busy with the story as our session was nearly over I forgot. Times flies when you are having fun. I did manage to get his picture though.
Let the children decorate the mask and claws with any materials they like, we used fabric, paint, pencils and felt tips.
Thread elastic through the holes and tie. Please be careful with young children and long chords.
We then had our story Michael Morpurgo’s Wombat Goes Walkabout. I love this story and so did the children. It is about a little wombat who has lost his mum. He meets many animals on search for his mother who are all to keen to tell him what they can do. When they ask him what he does, he replies, ‘ I think a lot and a I dig a lot’. I got the children joining in with this bit. Repeating phrases in stories are great for interaction. Well all that thinking and digging saves the day, this is the part of the story where the children acted out the thinking and digging with their new claws. This story is definitely a firm favourite of mine and is great for creative literacy as you can interact with it easily and opens up the landscape and animals of Australia and the threat that they are under from forest fires.
This week was the start of my regular creative storytelling sessions for this term. This half term I have a year one group and the our theme is going to be Australia. We are kicking off with wallabies.
I had thought that most of the children would have known the story There’s a Ouch in My Pouch by Jeanne Willis as it arrived in our house in one of the Bookstart packs but they didn’t seem to know it. In the story Willaby Wallaby does a lot of boinging around so I wanted to create a wallaby that moved. To ahieve this we used paper fasternet to join the limbs.
This week is the start of a new series ‘Under the Sea’ and the start of a new group. As usual at this time of year my group is the preschoolers orthe ‘practising reception’ as the class teacher likes to call them. This means that for some of the activities you will find I have either prepared in advance more than I normally would for an older group or that the activities are more open ended to allow them to explore materials.
Anyway we kick off with ‘The Fish Would Could Wish’ by John Bush with fantastic illstration by Korky Paul (of Winnie the Witch fame). Even through I’m a stroyteller the illustrations are such a delight that they have to be shown. There is a section in the story where the fish wishes to be all sorts of shapes and this was the basis for our craft today. We created our own fish from all sorts of shapes. Continue reading →