Using an outdoor environment is perfect for stories with a journey, such as We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. You can encourage children to create the setting from the story, or even think of their own and encourage them to use adjectives to describe thier new setting. Having access to story characters, such as the wooden ones in the photos from Yellow Door, are perfect for placing in different environments. They really help to retell the story.
There are lots of ways to retell stories outdoors such as using simple journey sticks. This is where you use a stick and wrap around objects you find on your journey. Alternatively, children can use natural resources or junk modelling to create props.
Sharing different stories with children provides them with lots of vocabulary and ideas to create their own story. Using story stones are a great way for children to think about the characters, setting and plot. Having stones with images already on are prefect for younger children and using word building trays can really help them to plan what is happening. The more confident the story teller the larger the word building tray they can use.
As children get older they can begin to design their own pebbles to plan and retell a story. Even the most reluctant writers enjoy this method. It naturally creates the opportunity to use language and order the sequence of events.
Using story stones or chalks, children can create a story map on the playground. You will be amazed how many children will use these at playtime and begin to tell their own stories!
Providing objects to make sound effects, such as empty pots or rice filled containers, provides lots of opportunities for children to visualise the story and add greater depth to their understanding.
How do you use your outdoor space?
Utilising your outdoor space for teaching and learning can have so many benefits. If you have reluctant writers and readers in your classroom try taking them outside, provide them with opportunities to talk, rehearse and explore language before scaffolding their learning in the classroom.
Would you like to utilise your outdoor space?
If you would like ideas about how to take the curriculum outdoors please get in touch