I shared a competition for fabulous Story Sacks at the weekend. I would love to have them for the Infant classes, I started to make my own story sacks last year and my class really enjoyed them.
Story Sacks can be used to encourage shared reading at home. Shared reading is also an important aspect of The Literacy Tree from NEPS. Through story sacks parents can be made aware of the importance of reading to their child and reading with their child. The activities encourage oral language activities and fine motor activities if you prefer.
I tried to link my story sacks to my Aistear topic where possible. I often used the story to introduce the Aistear topic and by sending it home it encourages the parents to become more involved in the topic too.
Examples of story sacks I have made are The Enormous Turnip, The Jolly Postman, The Gingerbread Man and Harry and the Dinosaurs say raah.
As you can see in the pictures above the pack contains the story book, cut out characters from the story for puppets, fact book (where possible) and activities to complete at home.
The activities often had a fine motor or writing element, this links to the writing elements on The Literacy Tree. In the pictures above the Dentist Pack contains the story book Harry and the Dinosaurs say raah, characters from the story, a fact book about going to the dentist, activity sheet to colour in the dentist and some colouring pencils. I always tried to include everything they would need to complete the activities. For other story sacks I included play-doh, a mat and some play-doh cutters. In this way every child can participate fully at home.
Story sacks can be extended for First Class by encouraging more written activities and written responses to the book. Similarly the activities could reflect the Comprehension Strategy you are working on in class. I chose characters and finger puppets for my story sack as we were focusing on retelling the story in class.
Of course, parents will need direction regarding the story sack. I always sent an email out first explaining the story sack each month. In each story sack I also added a task card which outlined the contents of the pack and what activities were to be completed.
I’ll add more photos of my story sacks to my facebook page over the next week. If you have any questions please send me a PM.