'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
what is Global Learning? CoreKnowledge Key Skills Values and Attitudes what is sustainability? what about climate change?
what about climate change?
Follow @HECglobal

Speaking and Listening Activities
linked to Waste and Recycling

Recycled Story Sacks
Sentence Stories
Fortunately, Unfortunately
Magic Box Stories
Recycled Puppets

Recycled Story Sacks

Put a collection of small objects that are often thrown away or found discarded in the street (these objects might include: a plastic bottle, an old shoe, a broken toy, etc). The objects should be placed in a draw string bag. The objects can be chosen at random or be linked to a particular theme, eg: going on holiday or shopping. The bag can also include names of characters from a story that the group are familiar with, or figures who can become characters in the story.

Begin by taking an object out of the bag and using it as the starting point for telling a story. Each person in the group contributes to the story in turn as the bag of story-props is passed around the group.

As the story is told the props can be placed on the floor in a line. When the story is finished children can be asked to re-tell the story, or part of the story, using the props as a visual reminder.

The re-telling described above can be developed into a piece of writing by scribing or by asking the children to write down the section of the story that they re-told.

The story sacks can also be used in the tent by individuals or pairs of children to help structure their own stories.

back to top^


Sentence Stories

This activity is similar to the story props activity, but without the props.

The teacher or a member of the group begins by telling the group the opening sentence of a story. The next person in the circle must then continue the story by adding the next sentence (which must follow on from the first sentence). Each person continues the story by adding a sentence in this way, the last person in the circle must use their sentence to finish the story.

This activity can be given more structure by passing around a box of words. Each person must use the word they pick in their sentence. The words can be a mixture or based on a specific theme, (eg: the environment or recycling) or parts of speech – verbs, adjectives or nouns.

Shared writing:
The teacher writes up the sentences, as the children compose them, onto a white board/flip chart so that a whole group story is created. The story can then be written up and illustrated to create a class book.

Independent/paired writing:
Initially the teacher models a sentence, then, using mini white boards, children write down the sentence/sentences they come up with.

Children can also work in pairs to think up their sentence with one child acting as a scribe.

Children can then write up and illustrate their sentences on paper. The pages can be stapled together to create a book or mounted on the wall as a frieze.

Unit 2 of the NLS Developing Early Writing document clearly sets out the process of progressing from talk for writing to shared writing and then to independent work. This format is useful for many of the activities listed below.

back to top^


Fortunately, Unfortunately

This is another variation on the two previous activities.

Everyone sits in a circle then each person in the circle is alternately given the word fortunately or unfortunately on a piece of card. A member of the group begins by giving the opening sentence of a story. The story then continues around the circle with each person starting their section of the story with either fortunately or unfortunately depending on which they were originally given like this:


This activity can be focused around a character from a text that the class/group are familiar with, or on a particular theme, or a place such as the local area.

Following the activity children can write the sentences they have come up with by sticking the word-card they have into their book and then writing the sentence they have thought of, eg: Unfortunately John didn’t do any recycling.

back to top^

Magic Box Stories

Show the group a small box. Ask the children to imagine the contents of the box.
The group need to clearly describe the object – giving the size, and explain what it is used for. Then use the imagined objects to construct a story around them.

See NLS Developing Early Writing document. Unit 8 for Y1 Term 3 - ‘The Magic Box’, clearly set out making the progression from talk for writing to shared writing and then to independent work.

The poem ‘The Magic Box’ by Kit Wright (See NLS document listed above)

Create a recycled magic box by making a new box out of an old one by cutting up an old cereal packet or cardboard box and decorating it with old wrapping paper.

back to top^


Recycled Puppets

Puppets can be used to help children with their storytelling and role-play activities.
It is easy to make a simple hand puppet by sewing some eyes and a mouth on to an old sock.

Recycled hand puppets can also be made from:
paper cups and plates,
plastic bottles,
old gloves,
old shoes.

Create a dialogue between the puppet characters in which the puppets are asking each other what different materials they are made out from.

The recycled puppets can be used to re-tell and re-enact stories that have been shared with the group.

back to top^