Wonderland Workshop 2 – Ice Breakers, TPR games, Puppet Crafting (Storytelling-based Learning)

As a real enthusiast of storytelling, I’ve decided to create a storytelling-based learning curriculum which will be conducted in form of a crafting workshop. Storytelling-based learning or narrative-based learning is not something we see in everyday practice. This method focuses on learning languages through literature, using storytelling at an early age. This curriculum is for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade.

Storytelling-based Learning as a Way to Promote Language Acquisition in Young Learners

This is our second workshop, and we still haven’t started with storytelling. The groups are still forming, so we will continue with drama games, TPR, All About Me activities, and other ice breakers for two more workshops.

Materials, classroom decoration and applications used

Materials needed: Activity book, cardboard, paper, printer, post-its, glue, recyclable materials, glue gun, boy and girl printables, whiteboard, markers.

Apps used: Random name wheel, YouTube songs, Sentence Monkey and Pirate online board games

Ice-breakers

To start off, we played the twist on truth or dare, and we used the wheel of names again + we used a box full of papers. Some papers describe the activity, and some pose get-to-know-you questions to promote TPR. We were using the random name wheel to select a child who will draw the paper from the box, and the children were so excited, and they cheered! More fluent children were very helpful and they translated and explained the activity to the other children. Here is the link for Wheel of Names, with some sample names inside.

We had to write our names backward….

Type a message with our nose…

Draw with our eyes closed…

... and we had to do many other fun and ridiculous things! The children loved it, and they wanted to play more, so we prolonged the game!

After that, we played some online board games, which the boys liked very much. They played with grammar and vocabulary, while the girls helped me cut out the puppets since they were much more careful and precise with scissors.

Pirate online board games

Who Took The Cookie – chant, and a TPR game

We started the game by sitting in a circle. I introduced this game with a problematic situation: There was a jar of delicious cookies! Then, in the middle of the night, someone stole them! Where are the cookies? Do you want to help me find the thief? Let’s be detectives!

We watched the video and repeated the movements the animals made, while also naming them. The kids loved this, and they were eager to see who took the cookie at the end of the video.

Download the cards HERE

What are the movements for who took the cookie?

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
[Troy] took the cookie from the cookie jar.
Who me? (Student points to himself.)
Yes you! (Students nod their heads “yes” and point at the student.)
Not me! (Student shakes his head “no”.)
Then who? (Everyone shrugs their shoulders.)

To extend the game, we went out and played a variation of a Serbian game with the cookie. The weather was amazing, and the children really enjoyed being outside, so we spent time outside until everyone had their turn.

Workshop

In the workshop part, we were making a personalized cardboard puppet on a stick from recyclable waste. We took photos of the children, we will print them out, and glue them to their puppet when the decoration is finished. These paper puppets will be used throughout the program when we have drama exercises.

Here are the bodies I printed out and used as models to our puppets. The puppets are not finished yet – the children decorated them, but we still need to stick their faces to the cardboard.

Post-workshop clean-up

After the workshop was finished, the parents already arrived, but they had to wait for us to clean up the materials, save what can be reused in one folder, and just put things where they belong. This is very important, and the children should always help with the cleaning-up to promote awareness and to discuss sustainability. Not all scraps of paper are going to the trash! What can we reuse next time?

To conclude – Less is more!

Sometimes we plan out many things, but they end up being completely unnecessary. The children really liked the games I started, so we ended up repeating them and playing them longer. You never know what will the little ones like, so it is always good to prepare more things, but remember – LESS IS ALMOST ALWAYS MORE. 🙂

STORYTELLING + CRAFTING = WORKSHOP

What do you think about learning English in informal education? Do you like the concept of storytelling-based learning blended with crafting and a workshop? Please write in the comments, I would love to hear your opinion!

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About Alice Glass

Alice is a 29 years old preschool teacher (Pre-K) with a B.Ed. She is currently enrolled in her Master's studies, with a double major, one of them being English teaching methodology. She is also an online ESL teacher and blog writer for the British Council. Last but not least, she is the mother of a very energetic toddler.

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