Year 1 Literacy – Step by Step Fairy Tales Theme
There are some amazing activities, ideas and discussions on the the Early Years and Foundation stage when it comes to homeschooling. But as our children grow, what next in year 1? Of course everyone’s method of home-education changes. Some find online curricula or guides and work through those, others may take a more child led approach. For those who need structure and some idea of how to own your own homeschooling plan, this is the place to find it. I love planning for our own themes, in topics my children are interested in and of course link back to what they may need to learn to help them develop their writing at such a young age. So we started my 5 year old’s Homeschooling journey with the theme of FAIRY TALES! We thoroughly enjoyed reading, writing, role playing and making up our own fairy tale stories by the end. We are sharing a step by step guide for you to try this at home with your children. Use our examples or tweak to make your own plans for this theme!
Year 1 Literacy – Step by Step Fairy Tales Theme
This is 4 week theme and here’s an overview of what we covered:
Week 1 – We began by reading through some favourite fairy tales and new ones including The Gingerbread Man and Goldilocks and the Three Bears this week. The simple language and repetition meant these stories worked perfectly for us as we focused on retelling, sequencing and looking at the beginning, middle and end of stories.
Week 2 – We moved on to fairy tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Billy Goats Gruff where we focused in on the characters. We looked at describing words and made Wanted Posters.
Week 3 – By Week 3, we recapped some other well known fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White and focused in on the setting of the stories. We looked back at the fairy tales we covered in Week 1 and 2 as well.
Week 4 – In our final week, we moved onto thinking about our own fairy tales. We focused on story mapping, thinking of characters we could include and where the setting was. We end the week with a write up of our own fairy tale!
Fairy Tale Theme Plan
Prep: We put together a display of all the things fairy tale related! This included a previously painted scene from a theme on Little Red Riding Hood. We modified it slightly and added a castle setting and some clouds and a sun. We collated our fairy tale books, toys and lego and not forgetting our dressing up box.
Day 1: We started by reading the story of The Gingerbread Man. We felt it was the most exciting one to really get our kids into fairy tale mode. Of course why wouldn’t it when you get to make gingerbread and eat them on the first day! We found the perfect recipe and enjoyed making and eating these. We retold the story orally using the pictures in the book.
Day 2: We began to sequence the story of the Gingerbread Man using the story sequence cards downloaded and printed from Twinkl Resources. This helped my girls to orally retell the story back to me from beginning, middle and end. We talked about end and what happened which led to an interesting discussion about the sly fox – great to bring up when describing characters later on in the weeks. We also followed up with a craft activity and lacing activity for the Gingerbread man.
Day 3: By day 3, we moved on to the story of Goldilocks and the 3 bears. After reading the story, we decided the best way to retell it and remember the sequence of what happened was to re-enact it. So together we set up our play room to look similar to the 3 bears house. We dressed the table with different sized bowls – I even brought out some dried porridge from the kitchen. We put together 3 difference sized chairs for each bear and some throws and different sized pillows as the beds. The girls LOVED this! They got right into role and enjoyed playing the different characters several times. (all afternoon while I prepped some lunch) It was a brilliant way to retell the story!
Day 4: Today’s session was to recap the story and writing a sentence for the beginning, middle and end of the story. We used this story board template with pictures to retell the story from beginning to end. It took two sittings to complete – so give your children time. Remember focus on saying the sentence out loud before writing. More on that here. For my 3 year old we found some fine motor skills cutting activities which she thoroughly enjoyed. She also retold the story using the small world house and finger puppet characters.
Day 1: We began by reading the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. We focused on the characters from the story by playing character hot seating. We used these character head bands to get into role. We pretended the real characters were sitting in front of us and we thought of what questions we would ask. This brought about great discussion about stealing from the giant, getting tricked by the bean seller etc. Great talk for writing! We also linked in a bit of science and planted our own bean on cotton wool in a clear plastic cup. We watered it each day and watched it grow!
Day 2: We looked some more at the characters in the story by using describing words and character describing word mats. We discussed the character of Jack and Ammarah wrote out a character description on a writing frame using describing words to prompt her sentence writing. We also made a bean stalk craft. The girls cut along the spiral on green paper to make the long beanstalk. They stuck on leaf shapes and then decorated the castle. I helped cut the template on corrugated silver card. They stuck on trees and cotton wool to represent the clouds! We added them to our Fairy Tale display corner.
Day 3: Today we looked at the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Rather than using the book to tell the story, I decided to use lego, a bridge and some goats to retell the story in a more dynamic way. The girls were interested straight away. The enjoyed copying my method and telling each other the story. We focused in on the characters again. They picked their character and using the familiar character template like yesterday they circled the words to describe their character.
Day 4: We looked some more at the character of the Troll. We described his character and how mean he was. I then explained what a wanted poster was and said “The troll has run away and the police want to find him for being mean! We have to help them complete this poster. If anyone sees him, they should tell the police and claim their reward!” This Troll Wanted Poster template was perfect!
Day 1 & 2: We looked at all the fairy tales we read and had read so far. We included Little Red Riding Hood too as they are so familiar with it. I introduced the word setting and we wrote down where each story was set. We looked at the pictures for clues. We combined our Art session and worked over this for 2 days. We used different medium to paint, water colour and use oil pastels to decorate the settings.
Day 3 & 4: We then looked back at our painted/decorated settings and labelled them with describing words on day 3 using sticky labels. We then followed up by writing up story beginnings by describing the setting. It was a lovely week – I’d definitely combine the Art if you plan to do this!
Day 1: We began by using our Fairytale Storyboard to make up our own fairy tales. We were now familiar with characters, settings and introduced prop as a significant ‘thing’ in the story. For example in Jack and the beanstalk, the prop could be the magic beans or the beanstalk etc. We then combined our Art session and made Fairytale Story sacks, choosing our own characters, settings and props. We were inspired by our fairy tale story stones and used them to make up stories too.
Day 2: We focused on drawing story maps. I started by modelling how its done collecting ideas from my girls as we moved along the story. There was no right or wrong answer and the story could move in any direction. We wrote less words, more arrows and drawings, so that the girls could orally tell the story back to me. This part is crucial before a big story write up. We spent some time on this and then Ammarah wanted to use her Princess stamps to make up her own fairy tale. Her ideas and her story map. She was able to tell me the story at the end.
Day 3 & 4: These 2 days were left to write up the story using the story map from the previous day. You may feel you need the extra day for story mapping or an extra day for writing. Either way keep the 3 days focusing on their own fairy tale write up. Now that they have the ideas on paper, the writing up part is all about remembering how to say their sentences out loud, remember their capital letters and full stops and read back their sentences to see if they make sense. I used this final write up as a reflection of what my 5 year old has learnt, can do in her writing and needs some help with later on. Remember with writing, it’s the ideas that need to come out for writing to be written, so don’t focus so much on their handwriting and spelling yet! Take a mental note and see where their improvements may need to be. Praise the ideas and the effort to write the WHOLE story from beginning, middle and end. 🙂
So there you have our tried and tested step by step 4 week fairy tale plan with a full made up fairy tale write up at the end. We hope you enjoyed this post as much as we enjoyed these past few weeks.
P.S. I’ve got some excited news, there’s now a chance for you to buy the full plan for this unit – click on the link here.
*We have been given a 7 months free subscription to access Twinkl resources – all comments, views and recommendations are my own and resources are selected based on our homeschool learning.
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