February 05, 2012

Storytelling Self Study Task

Activity 1:

Why do you think children enjoy listening to stories?

  • One reason why listening to stories is an enjoyable experience for children could be because it allows them to experience the story without the pressure of having to decode the words for themselves. They are able to simply listen to the words and therefore are given more opportunity to understand and comprehend the story. This opportunity can sometimes be lost with less confident readers when they are called upon to read themselves as they have to focus on each individual word in order to read it.

What skills do you think are involved in telling a story well?

  • You have to have a firm control on your own voice to tell stories well. You should make good use of expression and tone when giving 'voices' to different characters, but also when describing events you should let you voice match the tone of the story.
  • Confidence is also a very important part of storytelling. This can be achieved by knowing the book that you are reading, but can also be gained through simply practising reading aloud. With confidence, you can make better use of pause and characterisations with your voice, both skills which really add to the experience of telling a story.
  • Facial expression, hand gestures and simple actions can also make storytelling more dynamic for a listener and can potentially give extra support to EAL pupils who may have difficulty with the language being used. These movements are also linked closely with the confidence of the reader.

What value is there for children in listening to stories… and telling stories themselves?

  • Listening to stories and telling them themselves gives children a level of enthusiasm towards reading. Being able to share a book with someone makes it more of a social experience and in turn allows a child to view reading as a positive experience.
  • Listening to a story gives children the chance to hear the different tones and expressions that adults use in their reading. If the children are following the story they are listening to with a book they can also use this experience as a good model of the role of punctuation in speech, which will then go on to supporting them in their own reading.

Activity 2:

  • Note the skills of each story-teller and add any you hadn’t thought of to your list from Activity 1

First Video:

The setting added a lot to the atmosphere of the story, however may have become a little bit of a distraction if the storytelling actually took place outside. A class of children could become distracted by the nature surrounding them. This could have a bad effect on the teacher's confidence and the flow of the story.

This teacher also makes good use of his voice, using pause, tone, volume and expression very effectively. It really draws you in and makes you listen to what is happening in the story. He also matches his voice to the setting in the story which further solidifies the atmosphere of the story.

It was a very good display of confidence and he really told the story well.

Second Video:

This storyteller makes very nice use of expression in his voice for the characters. His voice is excellent throughout and really adds to the story.

His hand signals are supportive and add to the story as well. He also makes good use of facial expressions.

  • Briefly write about the video clip you preferred, highlighting the skills and characteristics of the story-teller and the impact these had on you

The second storyteller had a lovely voice. I felt that he really told the story in an expressive, interesting way. His use of accents and different voices really gave a new dimension to the characters. His storytelling was full of confidence, through the pauses and different sound effects, and I really enjoyed it.


Reviewing Emily Simpson's EAL Task

Writing about web page /emilysimpson/entry/eal_self-study_task_1/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

It was nice to see that Emily used the same book as me for this task. It was very interesting to see her take on how she'd use it with a different age group and what focus she'd have for her teaching sequence. I loved her idea for starting with a drama-based activity as it takes the pressure to use language away for EAL pupils and allows them to engage with the task and the story. The second activity shows a nice progression onto connecting the words with the images and the final activity shows good links with science.

Overall I think this was an excellent teaching sequence and it really shows that Emily has given a lot of thought to issues surrounding EAL pupils and literacy.


EAL Self Study Task

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By Eric Carle

Merits for using with pupils with EAL

Repetitive sentence structure for each page

  • Reinforcing the structure of sentences
  • e.g. 'On Friday he ate through five oranges, but he was still hungry'

Repeated phrases

  • Reinforces the language used
  • e.g. "I'm still hungry"

Lots of high frequency topic words

  • Children can become familiar with the vocabulary
  • e.g. days of the week and numbers

Links with science & the life cycle of a caterpillar

  • Good for children to introduce the language in a fictional context
  • Making children familiar with new vocabulary
  • e.g. cocoon, caterpillar, butterfly

Small amounts of text on each page

  • Children can focus on understanding the vocabulary and sentences

Supportive images to back up vocabulary

  • Numbers used in story supported by the number of images
  • children can see the link between the word for the number and the meaning behind the word
  • e.g. images to support the different foods being eaten

Year Group and Learning Objective

Year Group = 1, PNS Strand 7

LO = Identify the main events and characters in stories, and find specific information in simple texts.

Teaching Sequence

Quadrant A [Context embedded, cognitively undemanding]

  • Fruit naming activity
  • Led by the teacher, children go through the book again as a class, this time with the fruit names covered up
  • Children are to name the different fruits as they are shown

Quadrant B [Context embedded, cognitively demanding]

  • Number matching activity
  • Children are given pictures of the different fruits eaten by the caterpillar and they have to collect the correct number of fruits that were eaten in the books
  • They can work in pairs for this activity
  • Each pair would be given a book so that they can use this as reference for the
  • EXTENSION: Children will also be given a 'day' card which they will have to the fruits that were eaten on that day of the week

Quadrant D [Context reduced, cognitively demanding]

  • Menu creating activity
  • Working in table groups, children will assemble a possible menu for any other caterpillars
  • they will have to think about the different foods that caterpillars eat, and how they could have these as a meal

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