Helicopter stories and T4W- helping EAL and SEND children have a voice

Last week I actually cried while a children told their ‘public’ story. We have been experimenting with the ‘Talk for writing’ process alongside the helicopter – story telling approach.

A child who has significant speech and language barriers to learning ,stood up and offered to tell us his story. His last story was 4 lines long and very simple ( but still powerful) . But during this session I couldn’t keep up with the story he had so much to say. He retold the Jack and the Beanstalk traditional tale with enthusiasm;he used powerful verbs, conjunctions and precise nouns.

At the end of his retelling the children were all smiling and he declared to the class

Wow I’ve told a really big story !

His pride and self belief were wonderful to see and all the children spontaneously gave him a round of applause .You could actually see him grow in front of your eyes.

Next to step up was a boy who has English as an additional language and sometimes struggles to convey his meaning clearly. However on this occasion he stood tall and proud and astounded us with innovating the story and replacing the beans with magic coins. He also remembered many features of the story but twisted some parts too.

It all started on a dark and gloomy night…

At the end he said

I’m a good story teller aren’t I ?

A child who doesn’t often volunteer a view without being directly asked blurted out

You’re a brilliant story teller I love your stories!

Moments like that are why we all go into teaching,the pleasure they got from telling their tales made us all feel proud.

If you haven’t tried it yet I can’t recommend it highly enough. have a look at my resources page and try it out you wont be disappointed!

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