Helicopter Stories

Here are a collection of children’s stories that we have scribed for them. You can see the children’s developing use of language as we write their own words exactly. You can also see how the children’s understanding of story structure is developing and how they begin to draw on familiar tales.

Use the drop down menu under literacy for updates from the children. 

What are Helicopter Stories:

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

— Albert Einstein

Helicopter Stories are based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. At its most basic, children make up stories, adults scribe them, and then the class acts them out.

You may find your child has been asking you to write their stories. Please encourage this at home and send in their stories. Children can’t write it if they can’t think it. From past experience I have taught some exceptionally bright children, who when asked, are crippled with anxiety about ‘getting it wrong’ and find it difficult to put their ideas down on paper. We want children to allow their imagination to flourish and be able to put these ideas into words verbally, then develop into writing them. We put no pressure on the children to write at this stage. We scribe for them as thinking and writing at the same time is a challenge at 4, and I don’t want a child to thin of a great story but not tell it because of anxiety due to writing aspect.

Class rule: Each child can write a story which the adult scribes, but its maximum length is A5. Half a full page.

This form of holistic approach to education enables children to discover the world around them in their own, very personal way to make sense of their world and explore vocabulary. We can quickly assess which children understand how stories are structured with characters, setting, a beginning, middle and an end.

Stages of Story Telling – Taken from Pie Corbett:

Children will internalise and imitate stories and you may well spot familiar plots creeping into their own story telling. Common characters and settings, good over evil. This is to be encouraged. Some of our children are at this stage.

  • Innovate – They will adapt a well known tale, maybe substitute for their own characters, change the setting, but reuse a basic story pattern.
  • Invention – They create their own new story.The Benefits: Taken from Make Believe Arts homepage.
    • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
    • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
    • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
    • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
    • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
    • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
    • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
    • Allows children to explore the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
    • Offers children a bridge into the world of story writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
    • Acting out our stories…