We have been reading 10 Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell for the past 2 weeks in the classroom. The children love this story. I guess the story has mesmerised them because it represents everything scary about Halloween: witch, ghosts, cats, rats, vampires, skeletons etc.. It is spooky without being frightening and it got their attention straight away. The rhyming and repetitive prose is catchy and easy to memorise making it fun, while the illustrations are really colourful and detailed.
When I saw how much they enjoyed this story, I decided to create some props. One of the best way to promote a love for reading is to make reading fun! Props make stories interactive and bring stories to life. They help children:
- to sequence a story
- to develop their speech as they remember words or expressions from the story when read to them or as they use their own words to retell the story.
So I made something very simple. I downloaded pictures online and laminated them all. I drew a house on cardboard. For the ghosts, I added googly eyes and stickers for the mouth and voila!
We read the story once at circle time using the props and we invited the children to use them as often as they wanted and whenever they wanted during the session. Here is a video of what happened:
The children in question in the video showed how well they could use language to recreate roles from a story they had heard previously. They responded very well to this new literacy activity and even created their own experience when they decided to close the book and to re-tell the story their own way, thinking and expressing themselves creatively.
Identity & Belonging:
They also demonstrated they could work as a team, sharing the props and delegating tasks to do: the little girl was narrating while the little boy placed the props in the woods and around the house, imitating the screams of the ghosts. They both tried to count together, helping each other.