Guest Blog: Isla Hill Education Director MakeBelieve Arts Chelsea’s Story* Once there was a little boy called Oscar. He went to the park with Riley. And he went to see Chelsea. And she went home to see Oscar. And Oscar loves Chelsea. Then they all went home to see my dad because he went up … Read moreHelicopter Stories – Helping Children Make Sense of the World…
I am often asked about List Stories, and how to act them out. Naming a list of characters or objects is often one of the first stages of storytelling. The moment I realise I am being told a list story I write each character/object on a separate line, like a list. For children who want … Read moreList Stories: How do we act them out?
At the beginning of a new academic year, I am often asked, ‘When is a good time to start Helicopter Stories?’ As schools and settings are meeting new children and settling them in, it can be hard to imagine how to get started. But my answer is always – As soon as possible. Helicopter Stories … Read moreHearts beating as one…
The Ofsted Bold Beginnings report stated a need for children in Reception to be taught proper pencil grip and how to sit correctly at a table. But why does writing always have to happen at a table? For the children I work, with the amount of self-elected writing they engage with is phenomenal. But hardly … Read moreA celebration of the many positions children adopt when they engage with writing
Bella sat beside me. I wrote her name at the top of my A5 sheet of paper, and she started to dictate her story. Like many of the children I run demonstrations with, I had never met her before and I had no idea what words would come out of her mouth. “W. A. Pon. … Read moreScribing Verbatim Part 2 – Creating an Exact Record
One of the questions that is often asked about Helicopter Stories is why both Isla Hill and I scribe verbatim, exactly what each child dictates, without attempting to correct their grammar or push the child to elaborate on his or her story. I have several reasons for why I do this and over the next … Read moreScribing Verbatim: Part 1 – Creativity
There is no hard and fast rule about how to keep a record of the children’s stories you collect during a Helicopter Stories session, although it is important that the size of the paper is A5 or a similarly small size. This is because if you scribe stories on A4 paper they will end up … Read moreKeeping a Record of Children’s Stories
Yesterday I visited a nursery where the Helicopter Stories approach had not been working. The moment I got the email about the setting, I knew I had to visit. The idea that Helicopter Stories might not work for a group of children was too difficult for me to grasp. I booked my visit for the … Read moreLeading the Acting Out – Asks