I have started to develop a bank of Story Sacks in the infant classes over the last few years. I really enjoy using them in the classroom but I also send them home which develops home-school links but it can also give the parents ideas of how they can engage more with their children using storybooks at home.
Ideally a story sack should contain:
A copy of the storybook
A non-fiction book that relates to the story (where possible)
Character cut outs/puppets
Activities that relate to the story
I also included a home-school diary that the parents could fill in and tell us about the story sack at home. Parents also had the opportunity to send photos of their child with the story sack that we could use in school to discuss but also to put on the class blog.
There are many books that can be used in a story sack. Traditional tales can often be an ideal place to start. The Gingerbread Man, The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs are great to start with. You can often find downloadable printable characters from Twinkl or puppets if you can source them easily. Using these puppets/characters both at school and at home can focus on your retelling comprehension skills.
I include the story book so parents and children can read together. Where possible I include a non-fiction book so that the parents can explore the topic further if they wish. I also try and link my story sack to my Aistear topic when I can. This can encourage discussion at home on both the book and the topic.
Activities can vary from book to book, at the start of the year I like to have a focus on fine motor activities. So I usually include play-doh activities where I can. Within the story sack I include everything they will need, play-doh, play-doh mat and cookie cutters. For other story sacks I have included written activities so I include some nice pencils and colours (some that are often not used in class to make it special). Again there are lots of ideas for activities for different stores on Twinkl.
The task card is important part of the card so that the parents know what the story sack is for. It might be worthwhile sending a letter home first to outline what the story sack is for and how it can be used at home. I always remind parents that story sacks are the property of the school so that everything should be returned.
I have made many different story sacks so this list probably does not include them all. But if you have any questions on them please send me an email.
Enormous Turnip (Farm topic)
Little Red Hen (Farm topic)
Three Little Pigs (builders)
Peace at Last (home)
Room on the Broom (Halloween)
Owl babies (autumn)
Jolly Postman (Post Office)
Harry and the dinosaurs say raah (Dentist)
Rainbow Fish (seaside/Summer)