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Hi, does anyone use a story as their planning 'topic' for a half term - e'g. the very hungry caterpillar. I have heard that some people plan this way and then go off at all sorts of tangents from it - it sounds interesting. If you do has anyone any good ideas for me?

Thanks

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Just moved it for you, chris. Hope its in the right place now?

 

I like working in this wasy and you can choose almost any story very successfully. Sometimes Ive used a story as stimulus for just a couple of weeks, sometimes longer. There is a book, which I think is a scholastic publication called "starting with sories and rhymes" which you might find helpful to get you thinking more in this way, but give it a go, I think you will be surprised how easy it can be!

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Hi Chris

We have used The Blue Balloon in the past and done activitiies such as;

making stretchy playdough

bubble and balloon printing

size

mixing blue and white paints

symmetry

making model hot air balloons

circle collages

pretending to be balloons being blown up & then let go

 

Anita

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Hi Chris,

 

Have done Handa's Surprise, very successful, fruit prints, making patterns with fruit, tasting, recipes - milkshake, fruit salad, etc. observational pics of fruit, keeping healthy, balancing skills, animal patterns/prints moving like different animals retelling story with props, how people live in different countries,loads more at school.

Also did Can't You Sleep Little Bear

Barb

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Hi Chris,

I've used books / stories to support other topics / themes and like you, just last week I was discussing with my deputy using books INSTEAD OF topics. I would be interested to know which stories / books are best to enable a whole cross curricular coverage within a period of time.

 

I did see this type of planning used in a school I visited in Sweden. A large book was the center piece of the classroom and all activities / lessons were relevant to the story. ie: part of the story the characters visited the local shops to buy fruit, thus the children did the same. I am sure it really brings CLL to life in a very meaningful way for the children, but also covers other areas of development.

 

I am quite excited at the thought of using books for the whole of next year as I am quite bored with the "usual" topics, however hard we try to make them stimulating and interesting. I think the long term planning would need careful thought, with a variety of books to choose from and fit in with seasons etc. I think we can also "change" planning to fit with childrens interests and needs by changing the book title at any time, ie: a child who has just moved house - find stories to link with this relevant experience.

I also think it may make planning easier for the staff, to think of ideas, because a lot of it will be representation from the story.

 

In fact the more I think about it the more I want to do it. :D , so I'll be off now to print off my "Library" Inventory list and get some ideas.

 

Peggy

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Hi Chris

We used "Row your boat" as our topic last year. We made an island for our role play and then based all the other activities around water. I will root out some more ideas for you.

Linda

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great one as a theme focus. Learning about growth and change, days of the week, healthy eating, counting, sequencing, making butterfly pictures etc. :D

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we often use stories as a base for planning, easy with the correct book. we usually use a book a week or as in this term used bear stories as a base and covered lots of different ones (we planned around the travelling bear!!) in fact this one has so many stories the ideas just flowed and it has been a very sucessful term.

 

we also use a particular author as a topic and incorporate several books. As in Eric Carle include the bad tempered lady bird, very busy spider etc. etc. or very popular with the children was Dr seuss. (they made green eggs and ham sandwiches for break yum!!)

 

The children sometimes bring in books to use from home and the planning moves easily to the interests at the time.

 

Inge

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We do a general topic and use a different book as a focus each week which seems to work well, providing a different focus on the theme each week. When we did ourselves we used Handa's surprise (tasting), goodnight mouse and peace at last (hearing), Anna's amazing multicoloured glasses and brown bear, brown bear (seeing)....

 

During our theme on growing we used the hungry caterpillar, the lifecycle of a sunflower (amazing pictures), my history, titch, dear zoo, and farmer duck and focused on plants, animals and ourselves in turn.

 

Not sure if that's helpful to you but has seemed to work for us! :o

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How about using "Using Picture Books" published by Step Forward - ISBN 1-902438-44-2 for some ideas.

 

It's a book that explores the roles of picture books in the 6 areas of learning and suggests activities linked to the main themes of each one.There are 12 titles - Grandpas Handkerchief, Dear Zoo, Mr Gumpys Outing, The Blue Balloon, Washing Line, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rosies Walk, Ten, Nine, Eight, The Nursery Collection, Dear Daddy, Who's Who in Our Street?, and Farmer Duck.

 

We have used the book to give us some extra ideas.

 

 

Sue J

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All Eric Carle books are great to use. They link with all subjects. He has an art book on sale which shows you how he makes he illustrations. We did this with a reception class and they loved it. He also has a web site and if you mail him he will write back to you all the way from springfield in the US. The kids really felt a connection with him.

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Hi Chris - what a good discussion - its good to know so many others are using books as I do too! I find my most successful weeks are based aound books they seem to enrich the curriculum and inspire the children at the same time.

Bears are abundant in books - In the 2nd half of the summer term we will read and develop the following stories Goldilocks( of course), The Bear Hunt, Where's my bear, Brown Bear Brown Bear ( and Polar bear,Polar bear ) - both Eric Carle again ( What would we do without him!) And The Big Hungry bear, a little mouse and the red ripe strawberry ( which is a fantasic book for the end of the Rec year) - sorry can't remember the author! We spent a few weeks on our buildings theme and used London's Bridge, The Crooked man and of course the 3 pigs ( all the versions avaliable!)

I am a recently converted fan of the Gruffalo and other stories by Julia ...? ( sorry brain drain tonight) Love the rhyme in these bookswhich my class really needed in the middle of this year and they have certain boy appeal too.

As far as Authors go Pat Hutchins is pretty good e.g Happy Birthday Sam, Titch, Rosie's Walk etc.

 

I was really interested in the information from Peggy about Sweden - is there any way of finding out more about that? Any web refs?

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I think a strong story is a fantastic way into a topic!

I look for stories with an exciting or involving narrative that will capture the children's imagination. Having children as the main characters is important, to help them identify with the story. When reading the story I try to explore all the possible ways the story could develop with the children....."How could they solve this problem?" "What would you do if you were there...?"etc, and focus the children onto the emotions of the characters... "How are they feeling?".... This encourages them to be creative with stories, more immersed in the characters they inhabit, and helps to make their roleplay more imaginative.

Based on the children's responses to the stories we can find lots of child generated investigations to carry out, usually tackling far more interesting dilemmas or situations than I could dream up! (And of far more interest to the children as they directly address their concerns..."Can we eat clouds?"..."Why is he a baddy?"... ..

I think fantasy role-play is a powerful motivator and vehicle for learning, and the challenge is to find the resources needed for these experiments (!), and stories that capture the children's imaginations...

I've found "Cloudland" by John Burningham, "Tom and the Island of Dinosaurs" by Ian Beck, "What If..?", and "The Paperbag Princess" to be full of potential...But there does seem to be a lack of such books. All suggestions would be very welcome. I get bored of dull and preachy books about animals learning to share etc..(sorry, end of rant...!)

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I have nothing useful to add at this point, except that I love to use stories!!!

 

BUT, I have just noticed that I have not said hello to Ed Harker.

 

Hi!!! Enjoy yourself!!

 

Sue :D

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Hi Ed and welcome! :D

Your ideas sound wonderful and would certainly encourage child initiated learning.

 

Folens (I think!) used to publish an excellent resource for Reception History and Geography based on traditional tales. We first had it in school pre FS curriculum when Reception children were following the National Curriculum KS1, but it was easily adaptable for FS. It came as a large A3 folder or may have been bigger, with individual cards for each story.

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I am now using stories more and more as a basis for my planning. I find that it works very well as a good book really inspires children and linking activities to it gives them more relevance. I also find planning is more enjoyable when linked to a story and, let's face it, if planning can be more enjoyable we're all for it!

We now have a brilliant library of Story Sacks which are are a great way to introduce a story and then you can use the other resources to support the activities the children are doing.

I have recently used 'Room on the Broom'. The children loved the witch and the dragon and were inspired for several weeks.

I am currently using 'Camille and the Sunflowers' to link in with the topic of 'Growing plants' and we are doing all sorts of exciting things; Learning about Van Gogh, studying sunflowers, growing our own etc. There really are endless possibilities and in my opinion this is one of the best ways to plan.

I hope this is useful.

Claire

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Hi Gillie and welcome! :D

Sorry I missed you earlier, I must have been more sleepy than I realised!

I didnt know Eric Carle was contactable, so must try and remember that one. Do you know the title of his art book?

 

And Hi to Clare too. :D

Sounds like your finding books to support your topic rather than starting with the book? Lovely ideas, whichever.

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Hi Gillie and welcome! :D

Sorry I missed you earlier, I must have been more sleepy than I realised!

I didnt know Eric Carle was contactable, so must try and remember that one. Do you know the title of his art book?

 

And Hi to Clare too. :D

Sounds like your finding books to support your topic rather than starting with the book? Lovely ideas, whichever.

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Hi Susan,

Yes, I tend to do both, it depends what my inspiration is. Either way using a good story certainly helps to plan activities and is great fun!

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Like others I regularly plan from books. Apart from the traditional tales, which always lend themselves well to several weeks work I have found the following books very useful.

Mrs Honey's Hat

Owl Babies

Titch

The Jolly Postman

The Fish Who Could Wish

The Rainbow Fish

Elmer Stories

This is the Bear stories

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 

Best trad tales

3 little pigs

Elves and The Shoemaker

Cinderella

Gingerbread man

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We are doing Jack and the Beanstalk at the moment. There is a lovely book 'Giants have feelings too' which tells the story from the Giants perspective. I like to develop drama linked to stories such as a giant with toothache- Me -and what can we do to help?

My Friend Whale is a lovely book used in conjunction with Dear Greenpeace.

Bringing the rain to Kapiti Plain, which fits in well with visits to the Zoo and multicultural activities.

The list goes on and on - stories are wonderful.

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Hello there

 

I've just been reading through and making an endless list of all these ideas - i am seriously bored with my planning that i inherited and have given myself the task of rewriting next years planning seens as though i am getting the only reception class next year!!!!!

 

But before i can do that i have been asked by the head to create a CREATIVE topic for the 2nd half of this term - have more or less decided on Under the sea and was thinking fo stories that i can base it on - any ideas anyone - i was thinking of the rainbow fish but Y2 do this in detail!!!! :o was then thinking of Commotion in the Ocean but not really sure - anyother ideas on a Sea theme would be great

 

Thank you!

 

sarah

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