Some children are reluctant to read or to engage with literacy. This is an opportunity for your class/group to have a more fulfilling experience around children’s stories. The activities that can be created from short stories can cover many areas of the curriculum including:
Sara has written some of her own short children’s stories and has created learning activities to go with them. Where possible Sara has taken the 4 C’s into consideration helping young people with their 21st Century Learning (click here for more information). Her stories include:
Speedy was an ambitious mouse. She did not want to be stuck in her cage, with her dull sisters. She wanted to get out and see the world! Speedy’s boy was very upset when he found Speedy had escaped from her cage. He never lost hope that she would return to him. He tries to set up traps to catch her however she was too smart for that. As a final attempt to catch her, her boy put the cage down on the floor before he went out.
Would she return to him? Would she be in the cage when he returned home?
This book takes about 20 mins to read, depending on the children and their concentration ability, a break can be taken half way through for the sensory activity to take place. These activities are indoor activities that can draw children into a discussion about pets and small animals. The activities include:
- Discussion about small pets and how to look after them.
- Colouring, cutting and sticking sheets.
- A dice/board game – Involves counting, reading, waiting, winning and loosing. It also includes keywords so children can label the main areas from the story.
- Sensory game – Guess the substance and decide if Speedy can eat it.
- Make a mouse cage – Junk modelling using boxes, shredded paper, plastic pots etc to make a cage.
Gerald and the Magic of the Trees
Gerald, a shy, introverted boy, had got separated from the rest of his family in Potterton Grange Enchanted Woodland. Wracked with worry that he will never see his family again and he may be left in the wood all alone, his fears were dissolved after meeting a series of very magical trees and receiving a very special gift from each of them.
The activities that have been created from this book are both indoor and outdoor activities. Discussions from this book can include family outings, nature, emotions and personality traits. The activities include:
- A series of questions to check concentration comprehension (either verbal or written). These start with simple questions about what happened in the story and then focus on environment related questions.
- Tree identification – Discussion about the trees, their history, their physical appearance and their environment. Followed by an outing to find the four trees from the story. Tree Identification sheets are provided. Other leaf related activities include:
- Pick a leaf from each tree and draw it.
- Draw a tree.
- Leaf imprint. This involves placing the leaf between two sheets of plain paper or white cotton material and on a hard surface using a hammer or a rock hit the paper/cotton to crush the leafs chlorophyll and make an imprint on the paper/cotton. (This will be very difficult with the holly.)
- Give Gerald his gifts – Sticking, cutting and colouring exercise to attach the four physical gifts to Gerald. This can also be a sequencing exercise, attaching the gifts in the correct order. Attaching the items as the story is read out. Students can also make their own items to attach to Gerald.
- Discussing the emotional gifts –protection, strength, courage/bravery and insight. What are the student’s views about these gifts.
- Make up a group story about a child receiving emotional gifts. What skills is the child lacking? What skills can the child be given? They may even be super-powers – remember anything is possible.
Any of these activities can be modified to suit the requirements of the class or group. Sara loves to create learning activities/resources from any book. She has created activities for:
- The Twits by Roald Dahl for Teenage SEN children with learning ability from age 2 to 6 years, attending Watling View School, St Albans.
- Esio Trot by Roald Dahl for an English class of Indian children, who attend Learner’s Point Learning Centre in Jabalpur, India.
If you have any particular story, activities can be tailored from it to suit to your class’s/group’s abilities. Please contact Sara for more information.