Simple storytelling for YLs

It’s only a few days ’til Xmas, so this post comes rather late. However, this simple way of telling stories with 4-10 year-olds is very adaptable to any topic. Here’s how to set it up…

  1. Create a soundscape. Have students think about what sounds they might hear in Santa’s Workshop. Show a picture to help the students get ideas together. Maybe they can hear bells ringing, reindeer clip-clopping, elves hammering, a roaring fire. We can also hear Santa snoring. Then, all at the same time, get the students to make the sounds. Use your hands as a volume meter to stay in control of a potentially noisy activity!

santas-workshop

2. What’s Santa dreaming about? My group of 6 year-olds have been studying food vocabulary, so this is what I decided to focus on. We went through a disappearing drill of food vocab to refresh students’ memories.

3. Role play. I put on a Santa hat, did my best Santa voice and elicited ‘Do you like...’. I got a strong student to ask me the question and responded with a hearty ‘Yes I do‘ or ‘No I don’t‘. Then we swapped and, one by one, it was the students’ turn to be Santa. They really enjoyed it! I couldn’t lay my hands on any elf costumes, but given more time it would have been nice to make some hats to get students into the role a bit more.

4. Written consolidation. Students colour in a picture of Santa and write ‘Santa likes / doesn’t like…‘. This could be adapted for all of the adaptations below…

ADAPTATIONS:

This is open to really any language point or topic you’ve been working on…

  • Instead of ‘do you like‘, role play ‘where have you been, I’ve been to…, I went there in…’ for present perfect practice
  • Instead of Santa’s workshop, have a tiger sleeping in the jungle dreaming about other animals.
  •  A sailor thinking about what weather he might encounter on a long voyage.
  • An intrepid traveller explaining the different types of transport they had to take to get to their destination.
  • A deep space explorer logging what they’ve seen into the ship’s computer or talking with mission control about what they can see out of the shuttle window.

carol-home-pager420

 

There are huge possibilites here for such a simple story concept. Watch Carol Read giving a talk on this for a really good example of how to do it well…

 

 

 

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