If you are involved in the education of young children then you will soon find yourself enlisting the help of a not inconsiderable number of story books. You will need a considerable quota of additional resources to put to work alongside the story books so you will probably save a considerable amount of time if you use thoughtfully compiled key stage 1 teaching resources. It is possible to find complete story sacks but you can compile your own relatively easily using story sack teaching resources.
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.
There are many institutions that get volunteer groups to create story sacks for them. As yet, story sacks are not for sale in shops. You may be lucky enough to have a toy library that has a selection for you to borrow. Many story sacks lack appropriate resources or may have few resources within them. If you are looking on-line spend some time looking because story sacks can vary enormously in quality.
Some of the better story sacks include a wide variety of materials for you the user to save time with preparation. The best have a guide that will include further ideas, activities and links to relevant sources. They include ideas that can be used across the curriculum and not just literacy skills. They may link with early maths and science concepts and include craft activities, singing and cooking ideas.
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.
Story sacks are now increasingly being used by other groups such as libraries, health visitors, speech therapists, social workers, children’s hospitals and family centres. Story sacks are also a great resource to use when working with children with autism and other learning difficulties.
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.