Let’s Keep Going

21 Jan

So I thought I would keep going with the theme of story bags and add a few more that I have made and used in classrooms.

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins has been a big favourite for years.

I purchased two second hand books that were the same size. Now I am normally totally opposed to cutting any book for any reason! So when I decided to make a ‘moving story’ with the book, I thought about the  way the book  had been loved for years and how I could preserve the book  in  a different way whereby children could enjoy it in a different format.

1. I started with the story bag.

2. I then took the pages apart from the 2 books and attached them. I have to be honest this took a while. My older son can vouch for the time it took as I was in the middle of a teaching practicum and he  offered to help me!!! We attached the first page to the first roll and the last page to the second roll (paper towel rolls). I took it to school and  chose two children to move the story on as we read through the text, a few of them were trying to look around the roll to see what was going to happen! They were fascinated! I was thinking that an improved model of the format would be to give the children pens and paper to design their own ‘moving story’.

3. I remembered in a music unit I had enrolled in we had made chickens! As you do!

So please be patient with me as I attempt to show you how  they are created!

4. I chose the same colours of the chicken in the book! This is such a neat activity and has a very authentic chicken sound! When the chux is wet, you hold the chux between your thumb and pointer finger and wrap the chux around the string at the top. As you slowly move the chux along the string, (small  jerking movements) it makes the most amazing chicken sound!! You will be surprised, trust me!

5. So here we go………….

I used a see through plastic cup I guess because the children wanted to see what was happening with the string and the sponge, but any plastic cup would be fine. You will need:


Card strips


small piece of thick sponge


googly eyes

6. This is the tricky bit. I think for most early years groups putting holes in the top of the plastic cup requires an adults help. You make two holes in the top, then using a darning needle, thread the string up the cup into one hole and down back inside the cup through the second hole. You can loop it through itself and pull down or make a loop on the end after you have pulled the string through and thread the string through the loop.

7. Attach the chux, by tying the string,at the other end, around the middle of the sponge.

8. At this stage you can try out the chicken noise! Wet the sponge and squeeze out the excess water. Hold the chux between your thumb and pointer finger, wrap around the string at the top of the cup and pull down a little at time and DA DA! Your squawking chicken!

9. Now the decorating. I have used feathers and paper. I curled the paper for the top of the cup and cut a triangle for the beak, which I folded in half and attached. Don’t forget those googly eyes!

10. As the story has wonderful mathematical positional language, around, over, under/through I decided to extend the story to the outdoors! I printed the images and made A4 sized cards from the (curry virginia website) listed below.

I punched holes in the top and attached them to various climbing apparatus in the school yard and used a clam shell for the pond.

11. I then cut out and laminated chicken feet and attached them to the apparatus and lay them on the grass to show the children were Rosie went for her walk! I used the chicken cup to start them off! The teachers on the  practicum were very patient with me as the children could not get enough of the sound and begged for more!

I have added some websites that are great for extension ideas


This website offers an astounding array of different uses of the book through the different learning areas


http://curry.virginia.edu/go/wil/Rosies_Walk_Activity_Card.pdf I used the pictures from this site and created an A4 page adding an orange border.


http://www.webenglishteacher.com/hutchins.html This also is a very

comprehensive array of activities

Here is a Youtube version of Rosie’s walk


Have Fun!


Story bags

21 Jan

You might say strange name for a blog! I remember watching The Barchester Chronicles and in the story there was a man named Mr Quiver-full. He was so named as he had a great many children and was considered blessed to have been endowed with such a big family! I feel that as I have collected and stored away so many ideas, strategies and resources I should share my quiver-full with others!

So I decided to start a blog. I guess the thing that inspired me came from the movie Julie and Julia! I love the way Julie started her blog, just writing about what she loved. In her case cooking. In my case teaching ideas.

Having recently graduated from  Uni as a K-3 teacher I started thinking about the kind of blogs I visit and revisit. They are always ones where teachers have kindly put up great resource ideas, or lessons, or planning anything that can help the newbie teacher make sense of the teaching world.

I thought I would start with an idea I adapted from a resource I saw some years ago, namely story or literacy bags. I started with Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne.

1. First the bag

I purchased some linen bags (about $1.50) from linen and craft stores. Then I decided to put a label on either depicting a book or a theme.  I guess you could keep it all in a snazzy plastic tub, but there is something about a bag and the mystery you can create when you bring out the resources in a story session!

2. I know what you are thinking. Copyright. Well I thought about that and as the bags are for my personal use I figured I could photocopy one illustration from the book.

3. I decided to put both Eileen Browne’s books in, Handa’s Surprise and Handa’s Hen as they are both about the same two girls, Handa and Akeyo. I purchased the books from The Book Depository as their prices are excellent. I have since moved to Fishpond.com for slightly cheaper products with free delivery (in Australia).

4. I found some amazing activities that were free to download to accompany the story. The most comprehensive activities were from Sparklebox. As this is a controversial website for educators, I have added other excellent websites that provide wonderful activities

I printed,cut and laminated these masks. I found the long wooden sticks at $2 stores.

These cards are great for a variety of language games. I printed 2 sets for memory and fish games. They are great for finding initial sounds of words and syllabification.

I adapted this resource to incorporate sequencing of the story, ie what fruit did the animals take first, second etc. I attached velcro to the board and the individual pictures. You could use this as a small group activity or enlarge the picture to A3 for a whole class group discussion.

Helpful websites:





I have recently been invited to submit a review of Handa’s Surprise to ‘The Book Chook’   When this has been posted I will attach the link for further resource ideas.