Over the last few months at Cart Mill the children have been using the ‘Helicopter Stories’ approach to develop their story telling skills.
Helicopter Stories is an Early Years approach to communication and literacy skills based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. MakeBelieve Arts company has been pioneering this work in the UK since its conception in 2002.
Helicopter Stories lets children dictate their stories which are written down exactly as they are told by the adult. The children then gather around a ‘stage’ and the stories are acted out by the children.
The Makebelieve Arts website highlights some of the benefits of Helicopter Stories as being :
- An inclusive approach which values every child’s contribution;
- Facilitates high levels of engagement
- Creates confidence and self-assurance;
- Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
- Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
- Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
- Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
- Allows children to explore early literacy and the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
- Offers children a bridge into the world of creative writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
The children take turns to share their stories with the adult who is leading the session. As you can see below there are always lots of children who are super excited to share their stories with their friends.
After the story has been written, the author choses what character from their story they would like to play and with the help of their friends, the story is acted out. Performing the story is always met with lots of great actions, fun, and laughter.
Here are some of or stories from today, written then performed by the children.
Title : My Chocolate
“A minion was trying to catch a monkey. Minions are funny. And that was a bad minion and he caught the monkey and he putted him in the bin. And then a crocodile eated the bin and the minion and then the crocodile was sick.”
Title : Tilly
A rocket and a race car and a monster came along. Then the monster was going to stop the race car. Then the rocket was going to stop the monster. A bird was going to scare the monster.
A robot catched a monkey. A crocodile try and catch the monkey.
A tiger and then a lion comed and catched him. And then a gardener comed and catched them again.