A story-time workshop: I Don’t Believe in Dragons (Imagination)

A story-time workshop is a little more than reading a story, and it is a wonderful way to bring books to life and help children fall in love with the wonder of reading.

My Little Bookcase first ran this workshop for World Read Aloud Day held at Babycinos Café. I Don’t Believe in Dragons is such a beautiful story and lends itself to so many wonderful activities, so we ran it again for the very first Cubbyhouse Tales session.

Below is an outline of our workshop, and it would be easy for you to re-create at home with your children.

This workshop involves four stages:

  • Tuning In: Capturing the child’s interest and attention so they can gain as much from the story as possible
  • Reading the story
  • Making Connections: Providing the child with an experience that can help them relate to the story
  • Book-chatting: A chance to talk about the story, characters and messages in the book

The stages can take place in one session or they can take place over a number of days, depending on the age of the child. I hope you can find a way to incorporate some of these activities in your home, as this is one very special book to share with your children.

This Workshop is inspired by:

I Don’t Believe in Dragons, by Anna Walker (Published by Scholastic Australia)

Read about the book at Kids’ Book Review.

TUNING IN (Before reading):

1. Dress up as a dragon

2. Song: The Big Friendly Dragon (see below for words)

3. Cover Talk: Talk about the front cover.

READING THE STORY:

Taking the time to look for the dragon on each page.

MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH THE STORY (After reading):

1. Prepare for a Dragon Hunt by singing some songs (See below for words)

2. Dragon Hunt- Head out into the playground or backyard searching for (planted) clues that there has been a dragon. (E.g. apples skins, feathers, footprints)

2. Use the clues to make guesses about the dragon: What colour is he? What food does he like to eat? What activities does he like to do?

3. Create your own dragon footprint using a piece of cardboard, clag glue and some sand.

BOOK CHATTING (During or after reading):

I Don’t Believe in Dragons- themes: Imagination, imaginary friends,

Literal:

  • What colour is the dragon?
  • What does the dragon like to do?

Inferential:

  • What book is the dragon reading?
  • Does the dragon visit this kindergarten a lot?
  • Why does the dragon like to visit the kindergarten?

Application:

  • Do you believe in anything that you can’t see?

Analysis and Evaluation:

  • Why doesn’t Jack believe in dragons at the start of the story?
  • What would you say to a dragon if you saw one?

Wondering what these types of questions are? Find out more here, as part of our series on ‘Book-chatting’

RELATED SONGS AND FINGER PLAY:

The Big Friendly Dragon (sung to the ‘Dingle, Dangle Scarecrow’)

When all the kids were sleeping,

Tucked safely in their beds

Out came the dragon, and this is what he said,

‘I’m a big friendly dragon

With a very loud roar.

I can swish my tail like this

And open wide my jaw’.

I’m not Afraid (Adapted from ‘I’m not afraid of a Clapping Monster’, Humpty Dumpty Compilation, ABC Music 1995)

I’m not afraid of a clapping dragon

I’m not afraid at all

Repeat

And it goes like this (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap)

……………………………………………………………………………..

I’m not afraid of a buzzing dragon……….

I’m not afraid of a sneezing dragon………

I’m not afraid of a kissing dragon………..

We’re going on a Dragon Hunt (Adapted from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, published by Walker Books)

Five Little Dragons (from Nancy Music)

Over the hills and far away

Mother dragon said, “It’s time for your snack.”

But only 4 little dragons came back

(repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1,)

Worried mother dragon began to breathe fire

But the tears she shed made the fire expire

Mother dragon said, “It’s a VERY good snack!”

And all of the five little dragons came back.

GOING FURTHER-Other activities:

PLAY

  • Dress-up: Make a dragon tail using an old stocking. Fill it with scrunched up newspaper and decorate with paint or coloured cardboard

CREATE

  • Build a dragon using items from around the home: cardboard boxes, fabric, coloured paper etc.

TALK

  • Talk about things you see in the backgrounds of the illustrations. Is this place similar to your child’s playgroup, kindergarten or childcare centre?

FIND OUT

  • Visit the library and try to find some other stories about dragons

ACT

  • Dress up and act out the story as a family.

WRITE

  • Write the conversation that Jack had with the dragon when they met in the playground
  • You might like to write it on this activity sheet from Anna Walker’s site.

A story-time workshop: I Don’t Believe in Dragons (Imagination)

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A story-time workshop: I Don’t Believe in Dragons (Imagination)

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