A Guest Blog by Gwyn McCormack Director of Positive Eye Ltd UK
The model of a Sparkly Story Time Show: Bringing literacy to life for children with complex learning needs in a virtual world
HOW DID THE STORY TIME SHOW EVOLVE?
Can you imagine the joy for a family of participating in a virtual Story Time Show inclusively of their child with complex learning needs… and with SUCCESS?!
This is what happened last year….
There was a small woman called Gwyn. Gwyn ran a small company from a small village in the United Kingdom. Normally Gwyn delivered courses about children with complex learning needs, but suddenly COVID struck and everything stopped. Gwyn decided to take action.
From her big cupboard of sparkly things Gwyn found her story character, Marvin and wrote the adventures of Marvin, a kind and helpful little boy who loves to meet new people and make new friends. Gwyn positioned the adventures within the model of a unique Story Time Show. Gwyn took her Show and went LIVE on Facebook, performing 60 + shows. From around the world families of children with complex learning needs discovered the show and a wonderful community formed.
Twenty-two months later, a Story Time Show embedded in teaching and learning practices which supports a multi-sensory approach to literacy for children with complex learning needs continues to positively strengthen literacy outcomes for100’s of children in the USA. The outcomes have quite literally surprised everyone.
Here’s a short clip of the Story Time Show
WHAT COMPRISES A STORY TIME SHOW AND HOW IS LITERACY STRENGTHENED?
Each highly colourful, lively show starts with an engaging, rainbow wheel welcome to draw the children in. High contrast, glittery cardboard characters enact Marvin’s adventures. Children are encouraged to join in with the show’s catchy songs. Highly energetic, enthusiastic storytelling, ‘shout-outs, rhythms and funny voices all combine to maintain the children’s focus and attention. Children respond warmly to Marvin’s mid-show chat, a moment enhanced by each having their own Marvin doll to interact with. Live captioning and two interpreters ensure an accessible show and families are given materials to make the fun crafts demonstrated live.
The approaches adopted promoted literacy access skills
Tactile discrimination skills
Auditory and language development
Visual skills (Visual attention, tracking, scanning etc)
Book and story skills
Smell and taste
Music, singing, rhythm
Ready to go LIVE on the Story Time Show
Using rainbow wheels to spin and go ‘WHEEEE!”
Cheerleader pompoms – huge ones for maximum effect
High contrast outfit against blackground
Fun engaging characters designed and painted at Positive Eye using acrylic paint, glitter paper and grey board.
Homemade high contrast hats, red lipstick, black eyeliner to ensure high contrast face
In action on the Story Time Show with Bryan the American Sign Language Interpreter
and Dr Donna Carpenter the State wide Coordinator for the Kentucky Deafblind Project who saw the huge benefits of this work and opened the door to make it happen! The shows are all fully captioned.
WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN?
‘This snapshot of parent’s comments is worth a thousand words.’