Stories and fantasy play engage all young children and help them to draw connections and make sense of the world. MakeBelieve Arts Helicopter Stories are tried, tested and proven to have a significant impact on children’s literacy and communication skills, their confidence and social and emotional development. Based on the storytelling and story acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley, this book provides a practical, step-by-step guide to using this approach with young children.
Covering all aspects of the approach, Artistic Director Trisha Lee shows you how you can introduce Helicopter Stories to children for the first time, scribing their tales and then bring their ideas to life by acting them out. Full of anecdotes and practical examples from a wide range of settings, the book includes:
- Clear guidelines and rules for scribing children’s stories, creating a stage and acting out stories
- How to deal with taboos and sensitive issues in children’s stories
- How to involve children who are unwilling to speak or act
- Supporting children with English as an Additional Language
- Links to show how the approach supports children’s holistic development
Providing an accessible guide to an approach that is gaining international recognition, and featuring a foreword by Vivian Gussin Paley, this book will be essential reading for all those that want to support children’s learning in a way that is fun, engaging and proven to work.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Vivian Gussin Paley
Introduction: The Girl with Pigtails
Section One: Helicopter Stories: The Four Stages of Introduction - The How?
Chapter 1: A Sense of Anticipation
Introducing Story Acting
Chapter 2: Would anyone like to tell me a story?
Scribing a Story around the Stage
Chapter 3: Creating a Community of Storytellers
Chapter 4: The Vital Last Step
Summary: The Four Stage of Introduction
Section Two: Storytelling and Story Acting - The Why?
Chapter 5: The Enchanted Place
Why is story so important?
Chapter 6: Stories we may not want to hear
Guns, Superheroes, and Taboos
Chapter 7: Facing the Monsters
Solving problems from a safe space
Chapter 8: Shush Don’t Tell Anyone
The Big Secret
Chapter 9: She Bumped, and She Pow, and She Landed, Bang
To Scaffold or To Model?
Chapter 10: Onwards and Upwards
Adapting Storytelling and Story Acting to New Audiences
Trisha Lee is a professionally trained theatre director, with a wide range of practical and academic skills. She is passionate about the importance of storytelling and drama in children’s lives, particularly in the early years. In 2002 Trisha founded MakeBelieve Arts, a theatre and education company offering innovative, high-quality theatre and education programmes to develop the creative potential of children aged 2–15.
"Based on the storytelling and story acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley, this title features a practical and engaging, step-by-step guide to introducing Trisha Lee's 'Helicopter stories' to your setting." - Teach Early Years
"Young children are highly imaginative and we need to capitalise on this before they become self-conscious about their thinking – this book will help all Early Years practitioners to draw out of children as they use stories and fantasy play to make connections and make sense of the world. […] The friendly and accessible approach is full of anecdotes and practical examples from a wide range of settings, ensuring it is relevant to an Early Years setting. This book sets out easy to follow guidelines and rules for scribing children’s stories, creating a stage and acting out stories. Understanding that not all needs are the same, the author sympathetically addresses taboos and sensitive issues in children’s stories; shows how to encourage reluctant participants and supports children with English as an Additional Language. This is a really interesting approach to engaging young children, clearly explained in a way that makes the reader really want to try it out." – Parents in Touch
"This accessible approach is based on the premise that stories and fantasy play engage all young children and help them to draw connections and make sense of the world. […] Research has proven this approach to have a significant impact on children’s literacy and communication skills, their confidence and social and emotional development, particularly for kinaesthetic learners – those in Ken Robinson’s words, who "need to move to think". [..] This book is a fascinating and easy to read guide to an accessible storytelling approach to drama and learning, suitable for use with children as young as 18 months to seven years old" – Drama Resource
"I was so excited I ran my first helicopter stories session today. Everyone was amazed by the stories the children shared and the wonderful way the children interpreted the stories. Some very shy children jumped at the chance to act on our stage. I may never have seen the richness of storytelling that the children in my class (and probably future classes) have within them." – Sian Greenwood, Foundation Stage Lead Teacher, New Hinksey Primary School, Oxford
"Trisha Lee offers a step-by-step guide to scribing the stories of very young children and then enabling them to act them out with the help of their peers. She provides a thoughtful and moving commentary on the significance of the process for the children and their teachers, and reinforces the importance of listening to the voice of young children. This is an essential text for every early years practitioner." - UKLA Book Award Panel
"A must have for enabling all young children to access storytelling. This is such an inclusive approach it is adaptable for all abilities." - Stephen Parsons (Speech Language Therapy Team Manager at City and Hackney Teaching PCT and author) and Anna Branagan (Clinical Lead Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at City and Hackney Teaching PCT and author)