If you are a teacher of primary school age children then you will soon find yourself making use of a notable collection of story books. You will need a considerable quota of additional resources to use alongside the story books so you will probably save a considerable amount of time if you use thoughtfully compiled teaching resources. It is entirely possible to find complete story sacks but you can compile your own without much trouble using story sacks.
The vital component of a quality story sack is the main book that the story sack is based upon. A good quality story that captures young children’s imagination and fosters their enjoyment of books and reading is a must. Authors of children’s books have produced prize winning stories that have become favourites for many generations of children. The actual storage of the resources that support the story are often stored in a sack made of a soft fabric. They can be stored and hung with a drawstring and are easy for young children to handle. The contents of story sacks vary but the main resources that should be included are soft toys, puppets, games, a story tape, DVD, photographs, books closely associated with the main title and perhaps a CD of resource materials that can be used for teaching. Factual books associated with the main book should also be included.
Story sacks are now used in many schools and pre-school settings. Some childminders and parents are beginning to see the excellent opportunities that story sacks provide for developing young children’s language skills. The activities and props are designed to bring the story to life and for the young children to interact with the story. This involvement of the children brings the reading to life and helps young children to become confident with books and reading.
Since the 1990’s story sacks have become more widely available. They can be purchased on line, and may be available to borrow from libraries and centres that cater for the development of families with young children. There are increasingly more volunteer groups being asked to help towards creating resources to support story sacks. There are a wide variety of story sacks available so act wisely when researching the best resources.
Teachers and people working with young children often spend hours preparing resources to support a story. Creating displays and activities that go alongside a book can take hours so choose a story sack that has a great variety of activities included in it. Practical resources, ideas and activities in a guide or a CD of teaching resources that can be printed, laminated and used alongside the story can save you hours of preparation time. Cross curricular ideas help to bring sense and meaning of the world to young children.
Story sacks are a fun way for carers and children to share stories together. They were developed by Neil Griffiths, a Head Teacher from Swindon, as a popular, non-threatening way of encouraging carers to start to share stories with their children in a way that is positive, theatrical, special, interactive and fun.
You will find that the concept of story sacks is being used more widely than just in schools. Many settings that work with families and young children have realised the benefit that good quality story sacks can have upon parental /child relationships.Story sacks can also be used with children that may have more specific needs in socialising or delays in language development. Many groups such as libraries, therapists, hospitals, after school clubs etc will have access to story sacks.
One of the benefits of using story sacks with young children is that, after having introduced the book and the key characters, the children work independently using the story sack resources. This independent learning helps to develop young children’s social skills and develops their language skills as they re tell the story with puppets and materials on their own.
The best suppliers of story sacks also supply a selection of materials that teachers and practitioners can use for display purposes. Colourful labels showing key words and phrases with titles and illustrations ensure that rooms are colourful and stimulating. Some story sacks also have activities for children to colour and sheets for tracing, writing and early maths activities. Photographs are also an additional resource that enhance story sacks.