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How do you encourage the children in your setting to make up their own stories? Do you tell the children stories from memory, perhaps using props or puppets? Share your ideas here! :)

The cluster group meetings in East Sussex should give us loads of new material!

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Hi Helen

 

I love story telling with my little ones, in fact my collegues would say I enjoy it more than the children.

 

When I did my NVQ3 I had a lovely time telling a 'noisey' story with the group where I read the story and they had to add the sound effects, ie dogs barking and wind blowing. Although this isn't getting them to tell their own stories they were certainley more involved and excited than just being read to.

 

Sue

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Hi Sue,

Have you come across a book called "Three Singing Pigs"? It suggests some stories, (some familiar, some new) which you can use along with sound effects. They're great, as some of the songs suggested use familiar tunes with new words.

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Hi Sue,

Sorry, I should have mentioned the author! It's Kaye Umansky, and it's published by A&C Black. Your boss probably has a budget of some sort to spend on teacher books and reference materials. I know I have such a budget and I'm ALWAYS overspending!!! :o

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Hi Helen

 

Thanks for the further info I will add it to the shopping list in the setting.

 

Can settings apply to any 'body' to get grants to purchase books specifically? Afterall we all use them with the children or as reference aids to improve our practise.

 

There must be some settings run on a charitable basis who need extra resources.

 

Anybody got any views/info. Afterall if I could source a department willing to pay for lots of books my boss would be delighted (and so would I 'cos I love new books)

 

Sue

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  • 3 weeks later...

re:story telling

Last year I attended a seminar based on the teachings of Vivian Gussin Paley - an american teacher with a unique outlook on telling and writing stories. Its a bit long winded to go into here but here is the shortened version. Children love to tell stories. When they are very young they can't write them down so the adult should be the scribe. The scribe sits in a particular area at a particular time and the children are free to approach as they wish. Whatever the child says should be written down. A story may consist of 'there was a dog. it went bark. I was scared'. The scribe doesn't ask what happened next just waits for the child to finish. After the scribe has collected a number of stories the children and scribe sit in a circle and act out eachothers stories. The author is always given the chance to be in the play and direct it. The adult should not put their own spin on the story - the child has complete ownership. I have practiced this with my own reception class and it works really well. At first all the stories are similar and the children copy one another but it doesn't take long for them to yearn to be different; or explore events in their own lives; or make sense of something they've seen on the television; or make everyone laugh with a cheeky version of a well loved tale. The secret is to interfere as little as possible (much harder than it sounds). Very soon the children move on to wanting to write their own stories.

Anyway Paley's books include: The girl with the brown crayon and The boy who would be a helicopter. Hope this is of some help.

Jools

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Hi Jools,

I do something similar in my nursery, but we use props to aid the children's imagination. I have a small group (4 or 5) and a "special" basket, bag, attractive box,etc. The children shake and feel, trying to guess what the contents might be, and draw each item out for the rest of the group to see. I ask open-ended questions such as "Where could we be in our story? What's this for? Who would own this? Where would they go? " etc etc. Gradually the story unfolds. I then get the children to retell the story to me while I write it down. (It's really difficult at this point not to interfere and change it to my liking!!)

Taking photos of the children while they're telling the story, (holding the props, wearing the fabric, or whatever) is a good idea, and sticking the photos in a book with the story transcript, so that the children can revisit it.

I'll certainly get hold of the books you mentioned-thanks :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jools, I found what you said about letting the children come up with stories without too much prompting really interesting. Something I find fascinating with my own daughter is letting her create a story from a real-life incident. The learning from this sort of real life story can be incredibly powerful. For example, today a parcel arrived for her from her Grandma, containing a Tshirt that she had in a smaller size but had outgrown. (Grandma must be psychic, as we'd battled to get the outgrown one over my daughter's head on Saturday. xD )

 

Anyway, by the time Daddy came home from work, the story of how the Tshirt got to our house from England was extremely elaborate. It evolved from 'Grandma gave it to the postie-man' to 'Grandma thought 'Oh, the children are all growing sooo fast cos they ate their broccoli' so she she went to the shops and told the man that I eat my broccoli, and he got a bigger shirt, and Grandad paid for it, and the man put it in a plastic bag, cos it was raining, so then Grandma went to find the postie-man, who wanted to know where the little girl lived, who ate the broccoli....' and so on.

 

It took twenty tellings of the story before we got to this stage, and a little help from me, when she got stuck like 'Maybe Grandma looked up the address in her book, to show him where we lived?' but essentially the story was her's. The process helped her process and reach better understanding of how things interconnect, along with some recent experiences (like the rain - it's been raining in California this week, which is a real experience for her - like learning that paper gets soggy in the rain, something she'd have known long ago if we still lived in the UK!) Plus it helped her with the processing of some emotions - such as, was she going to let her little sister have the outgrown shirt now, or not. (The jury is still out on this one :o )

 

I think it's so important that we don't overlook the learning that can come from everyday storymaking, based on real life. It is only when I sat down now and analysed what went on as she developed her story that I realised the learning that had taken place. She had:

 

revisited previous learning

questioned previously-held ideas

linked concepts

hypothesised

processed emotions (in a safe place)

verbalised her emotions

asked questions

answered questions

organised her ideas

sequenced events

 

What a powerful tool a story can be! And I have no doubt that by tomorrow, the story will be even more elaborate and imaginative, probably involving some elephants, kangeroos and eight panda bears (I have no idea why, but we always have eight panda bears. :D:D:D )

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  • 4 weeks later...

Story sacks

I have just been asked to create one as part of a HND module, I had a great time making the sack, taking it to playgroup and sharing the story and activities with the children I can see there is alot of scope for story sacks.

 

the main aim is for the sacks to be taken home for parents to read to their children and then with the activities and a non fiction book, develop the childs reading skills further. and to encourage parents to take an interest in their childrens reading

 

do many people use story sacks?

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Hi, I'm doing a dissertation entitled 'Storytelling - A powerful developmental Tool'.

Anything anyone has to share on this subject would be good. Your views, experiences of using story and how you expanded a story into the whole curriculum could all help me to build up a file of evidence from early years practitioners.

 

Thanks, Fiona :D

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Hi - very interested to read this discussion.

 

In my class I have recently set up a story telling corner - with the specific intention of developing the children's speaking and listening skills, along with a whole host of other objectives (I like to multitask!!) I can e-mail pics if anyone is interested.

We have put in comfy chairs, cushions etc and a basket of cuddly animals - the children can then choose a toy to "tell" a story to. I've also put in some puppets, a selection of big books which the children have used in Literacy, and some other books which we have enjoyed sharing. I have found that giving the children a familiar book as a start often helps them to develop new stories - they especially like telling us what happens after the book is done! We also have a story box which contains different props each week - it might be laminated pictures, toys to accompany a story etc. Most recently we put in all the animals and fruit from "Handa's Surprise" We plan to add story sacks later this term. If ever I have the luxury of a parent helper or a student, I ask them to sit in the story corner for a while, as the children seem to need help to "get started" - however, once they are up and running there is no stopping them - I have observed some really high quality interaction, imagination and some really focused listening. If you've got the space - I recommend it!

 

Angela

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Hi Angela,

Thank you for your inspiring ideas :D

I particularly like the idea of a cuddly animal to tell a story to. We've just bought a couple of huge puppets and these would be ideal to sit in a chair for the children to entertain. Thanks again.

I'm planning to rig up some kind of story tent; perhaps some flowing voile stitched around a hoop hanging from the ceiling, so that we can have a special story telling area, too.

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Ona

I was just writing up my evaluation about story sacks and found a useful link about story telling it may be of interest?

 

literacy today - story telling/storysacks

 

thanks for the ideas with developing the book corner

we have often put cuddly toys and puppets but I have never thought about "other" props

 

its good to beable to pick each others brains isnt it

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Hi, Thanks for links information, the literacy today site was very interesting.

 

I've just been browsing and came across this storytelling site that is worth a look: WWW.storyarts.org/lessonplans/index.html

 

regards, Fiona

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I was interested to hear Jools mention Vivien Paley. We recently had a drama workshop that introduced her ideas about children's storytelling. As a result each class has a taped square on the floor which the children jump into to tell a story or use as a stage.

For some children it was enough to just jump into this square and grin at everyone! Others told their own stories and some retold well known stories they had heard many times in class. The drama tutors have returned and are working with children to act out their stories, scaffold them and build on them. It is important that this is carried out in small groups. We tried a whole class session and the children listening found it hard to sustain concentration.

The children are much more aware of story characters, the structure of a story and what makes a story interesting and exciting. When they act out their stories together the personal, social and emotional rewards are huge.

 

regards Sara

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Hello Saralou, welcome to the site :D

I love your idea about a taped square on the floor! Where is it in relation to other areas in your classroom (I'm assuming you're a reception class teacher).

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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

 

I just wanted to tell you about something we did with storytelling at my pre-school centre at the end of last term, with the pre-school age children only (think the rising 2's and 3's a bit too young).

 

One of our team members has a French degree, and one day at story time she appeared with three plastic little pigs, a big bad wolf and three houses, all made of different materials :D . Recognise the story so far??!! She then settled down on the floor with a low table in front of her and set out all the characters. The children all sat close by and watched, absolutely spellbound as she told the story of the three little pigs in very simple, very slow French, using the characters to huff and puff and then run along to the next house. The children were silent, listening intently and some of them even picked up a few words as we went along and repeated them at the appropriate time as the thread of the story was repeated. She used absolutely no English at all. It was the most fantastic success. Some of the children even knew a few words in French and shared them with the rest of the group. They were all in such high spirits when the left and lost of them told their parents/carers all about it when they were collected.

 

It really was brilliant, and I just wanted to share it with you all.

 

Bon chance!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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