You might have spotted from my frequent “Reader Response” posts that I love to have a book at the centre of my weekly scheme. Every single week of the school year has a book timetabled. My poor teaching partner, who has the other half of Junior Infants, must be driven mad with me! I am completely obsessed with exposing children to stories, having them engage with them and respond to them in an age appropriate manner!!!Incase you thought that I was joking about how seriously I take literacy and stories I thought that I would include a screen shot of my Long Term/Termly Planning for Literacy.
The Irish Curriculum is severely overloaded and it can be so hard to squeeze everything in! I make story-time an absolute priority in my classroom. In fact, it is the starting point of all of my planning. Every other subject planning happens after I have planned my stories for the year. This allows me to use these stories to their maximum advantage, tying them into seasonally appropriate terms, matching them to maths/science topics so that the story becomes the springboard for my maths/science lessons that week.
Below I have listed some of the Strands and Units that I have found myself integrating through my story of the week. I hope that you find it helpful!!
I like to integrate my weekly Drama lessons into my literacy. It is much, much easier to explore Drama with small children when you have a familiar topic as your starting point. Often times I will integrate Music also through creating soundscapes to accompany stories that have strong “sound” under currents. Here are some objectives that I have found relevant to responding to stories with music:
Strand:Listening & Responding Unit: Exploring Sounds
- discover ways of making sounds using body percussion
- listen to, identify and imitate familiar sounds in the immediate environment from varying sources
- recognise different voices
- explore ways of making sounds using manufactured and home-made instruments
Strand: Composing Unit: Improvising & Creating
- select sounds from a variety of sources to create simple sound ideas, individually and in groups
- invent and perform short, simple musical pieces with some control of musical elements
History is another subject that has a natural synergy for story telling with infants. Here are some of the main objectives that I try to meet on a weekly basis for History:
Strand: Story Unit: Stories
- discuss the chronology of events (beginning, middle, end) in a story
- express or record stories through art work, drama, music, mime and movement and using information and communication technologies
- display storyline pictures showing episodes in sequence
Depending on the story you might be able to explore other elements of the science curriculum. For example when we read “Aaaaarrgh Spider” we explored spiders, their body parts, diets…
Strand: Living Things Unit: Plants and Animals
- recognise and identify the external parts of living things (spiders)
Data Handling is another great reader response or even pre-reading activity that I love to engage my class in. It makes maths so meaningful and children can see the power and influence of maths in their own lives. I have some printables for download that create graphs for a number of books. Check out the Maths Section of my blog.
Strand: Data Unit: Representing & Interpreting Data
- represent and interpret a set of simple mathematical data using real objects, models and pictures
I hope that my Teacher followers will see the fantastic opportunity books offer from a teaching & learning perspective. If you haven’t tried using a story as the centre of your planning I would urge you to try doing so next week. Just give it a go for me! Please! Let me know how you get on ;)
I hope that my Parent followers enjoy reading how teacher’s brains work and how we set about planning for your child’s learning!It is complex and time consuming when you consider how many subjects we have to plan for and the fact that each subject must have long-term, short-term and weekly/fortnightly plans and then monthly accounts of what exactly was covered.
Miss Mernagh :)