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. However, 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.
To start, 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 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 much 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. Then, they played with grammar and vocabulary while the girls helped me cut out the puppets since they were more careful and precise with scissors.
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.
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 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.
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 for our puppets. The puppets are not finished yet – the children decorated them, but we still need to stick their faces to the cardboard.
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 discuss sustainability. But, unfortunately, 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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