A Sensory Story For Sensory Learners.
This was my first attempt at writing a sensory story. Heavily influenced by this book by the fantastically creative Joanna Grace. This session also presented a great opportunity to use Sensory Umbrellas as demonstrated by Flo Longhorn. I have recently started at a new school and have the privileged to work with a whole range of specialists including speech and language therapists and OT’s. There is a specialist team of support staff working with children with a range of needs I have not previously taught. Under their guidance I came up with this sensory story and delivered it in a session.
Part of the purpose of a sensory story is to build a sense of anticipation as the children become familiar with each aspect. So you can refine and reuse these resources for a number of sessions, adding those that any child finds aversive or unmotivating. You can download the story at the bottom of this post. I have written this post on sensory learning that may be of interest,Sensory Stories engage children through storytelling and sensory experiences that can bring a sense of wonder into the classroom. Click To Tweet
The Sensory resources
I am a fan of reusing materials where possible so most of this story was resourced with bits I had lying around or borrowed from other classrooms (mainly the art room!). This is a list of the equipment and sensory resources used for each page of the story. Most of the children have PMLD (Profound and multiple learning difficulties) so I had to be mindful of how each piece of equipment would be used.
Time needed: 1 hour.
List of Sensory Story Activity Resources
- Page 1 – The Beach
This is a beach with water and sand.
Can you feel the grains rough in your hand?
I put some play sand in a wide tray so those with motor issues could easily feel the sand. Next time I will bury some shells and bits in the sand.
- Page 2 – The Shell
This shell was washed up, hold it up to your ear.
The wind or the sea, what can you hear?
I managed to find a large seashell in the art room. The children could listen to the sounds and feel the textures. I had a group of 8 so could have done with a couple more shells. You can buy these on Amazon but they are a bit expensive.
- Page 3 – The Whale
There in the distance, a sea creatures’ tail!
Can you feel the bumpy skin of the whale?
This was tricky but I found some interesting material in the art cupboard. It was a shiny lined plastic. I made a pouch with this as one side and bubble wrap on the other. I put some broken up polystyrene in between. I also had a toy whale and whale sounds playing.
- Page 4 – Seaweed
Wade into the sea something wet, slimy, and cold.
Can you feel the seaweed that’s slippery to hold?
This was a popular activity. I had an umbrella with crepe paper and fish stickers hanging down, which we held over the children. To go alongside this I had a bucket with damp cloth and these little slimy sea animals. They enjoyed hunting around and catching them. (Pictures to follow!)
- Page 5 – Bubbles
The most popular activity! I had bubbling sounds effects playing and a bubble wand blowing out bubbles. I disconnected the speaker as the song was horrendous.
The water is clear and the water is bright.
Can you catch the bubbles shining in the light?
- Page 6 – The Octopus
Deep down in the sea an Octopus swims.
Watch as it curls and stretches 8 rubbery limbs.
This page used the octopus sensory umbrella. This was some shiny string and some octopus shapes I had cut from a purple shiny envelope. Whilst this was being used I passed around some bubble wrap tentacles.
- Page 7 – Shark!
Now the sun is going down, soon it will be dark.
Listen to the seagulls and watch out for the…..
I was promised speech and language had a hand puppet of a shark. They didn’t so I had to make one out of felt and packing peanuts for teeth. It is too embarrassing to post here. To use it I had seagull noises playing in the background and pulled it out before “nibbling” the children with the puppet. Really went down well.
Download the Sensory Story book
Read/Download my sensory story written primarily for the Blue Abyss topic for our KS3 PMLD group. This is a word document so fully editable if you don’t like my attempts at Rhyming! Please share If you find it useful.
View the Video and Sound Effects used.
All images supplied by the awesome website Unsplash. I would love to hear your (constructive) feedback on this, it was my first attempt at writing a social story!