How to tell a Rhyming Multisensory Story
Identify the key words in the story highlighted in bold. These are your story props.
Set out your resources where they are easily accessible. A large colourful box with a lid is ideal as its unknown contents provide an air of anticipation and mystery to the listener. Place your resources (props) inside the box in the order in which they will appear in the story.
TIP! Stored any scented props in a sealed container, it will make the smell stronger as the air in the container will be fragranced and will waft out when you remove the lid.
Choose a quiet, distraction free place that is comfortable.
Present the box (lid on!) This will act as a visual cue for the learner that you are about to share a story.
Read each sentence slowly and clearly, introducing the story prop as the corresponding word in the sentence appears, (there are several options for story props suggested in the stories and you can also use your own props). Follow a total communication approach and explore the use of Makaton signs.
Use a variety of facial expressions and gestures to communicate meaning.
Allow processing time for the learner to use their senses exploring the stimuli.
Develop Comprehension Skills
At the end of the story, present the learner with the props to freely explore. Depending on ability, if you are working at a sensory level you will be looking to identify items that motivate and engage the learner. At a higher level you the aiming for them to retell the story using the props.
Label 3 boxes ‘beginning’, ‘middle’ and ‘end’ or ‘first’, ‘second, ‘next’ or ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ depending on the listener’s language and comprehension skills. By breaking the story into three sections it becomes more manageable.
Can the learner pick out the props that represent the key elements to the story?
Can the learner sort the props into their correct categories in the boxes showing what happened at the beginning and the end of a story or before or after a specific event?
At the end of the session, encourage the listener to tidy the props into the story box. This will signify that the story session has ended.
You do not have to complete the whole story in one sitting. You can explore one or two sentences adding to the story in future sessions, it may take several sessions to complete the story.
Allow processing time.
Repetition is the key! Repeat the same story for a minimum of twice a week for a month then change to a different story.
Focus on having fun and it will become an educational experience!