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Twizzlecaps find Fairyland

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By Kay Hiatteducational author and freelance literacy consultant

Discover a creative approach to literacy with our free audio story and linking activities

When David Dean of Romulus asked me to write a set of teachers’ notes for his audio story The Twizzlecaps find Fairyland, I had some initial reservations – would the story be interesting and rich enough to sustain further activities in class? However, his enthusiasm and description of the product encouraged me to give the story a listen. And so I did, and from that very first listening I became one of the Twizzlecaps’ greatest fans!

The Twizzlecaps Find Fairyland

Join the Twizzlecaps on an enchanted adventure

Told over eight episodes – each of which is broken down into small, manageable parts – the story is full of adventure and memorable characters. The voices, music and sound effects all combine to transport listeners into a vibrant world. From the opening storm (with crashing trees!) to the magic of the fairyland, it is impossible not to be caught up in the story. I found myself listening to it from beginning to end. What fun!

Keen to try the CD out with children, I approached several of my grandchildren between the ages of five and seven, and was thrilled to see their response to the story. At the end of each episode, they were eager to talk about the characters and the exciting world that was slowly being revealed. Just who are the Twizzlecaps? Are they fairies or humans? What will happen next? As we moved further into the story, it was clear that they were as hooked as I was!

An adventure awaits…

The Twizzlecaps find Fairyland is an exciting new literacy resource published by Romulus for the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Available at a special introductory price of £26, the pack comprises:

  • CD 1 (Audio): The Twizzlecaps find Fairyland story, divided into child-friendly parts.
  • CD 2 (Resources): Cross-curricular activities, talking points and pictures to support the story.

For further information visit www.twizzlecaps.co.uk or call Romulus on 01525 222 900.

A local Reception teacher tried this resource with her class – and her feedback was very positive. ‘All the children thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio CD and loved the sound effects – they even moved their hands and bodies when the tree fell over! We listened to the story a chapter at a time – this really helped the children as we could stop and reflect on what we had heard. There was lots of discussion about the sound effects (It sounded like a horrible storm!) and the nature of the characters (Can the Twizzlecaps do magic?). Children were keen to draw pictures and asked if they could carry on listening to the story in our “Enchanted Forest” book area. This was a big hit with the children and a fantastic resource for teachers. There is so much you can do with this story!’

Into the woods

The following activities link to the first episode of The Twizzlecaps find Fairyland. This opening episode is a great way for you to try out the resource with your class.

Mapping the story

You will need: sheets of paper and pencils; blue and green tissue paper; card; felt; ribbon; cardboard rolls; containers of sand; clay or play dough; different sized boxes.

  • Listen to the three chapters of episode one. At the end of each chapter, encourage the children to talk about each stage of the journey. Where are they first/next/later?
  • Ask them to draw a picture for each scene, showing the journey (older children could create a storyboard). Take these pictures over to your collection of modelling materials and help the children to select resources to build up a 3D map showing each stage of the story. Ribbons and blue tissue paper can be used for the stream, the meadow can be created using felt, and the wood can be modelled using cardboard rolls or twigs placed in sand containers.
  • Take digital photos of the map. These can then form the start of a wall display or a classroom big book. More able children can write captions to explain what each photo shows.

Characters and sound

You will need: toy animals (a fox, a baby owl, an adult owl, assorted birds); a boy and girl doll (to depict the Twizzlecaps); a selection of percussion instruments (bells, triangles, block and beater, tambourine, and so on).

  • In a small group, get children to listen to a chapter of the story, then set up the scene on a tray using modelling materials (see previous activity). Alternatively, use pre-made scenes that the children have made.
  • From the collection of toys you have made available, invite the children to collect (or make) the characters that they will need for that section of the story. Once the characters are assembled, the children can decide between themselves who will take on which role (Mr Twizzlecap, Mrs Twizzlecap, Baby Owl, and so on). Then, with adult help, they can talk and walk their way through the scene, adding relevant sound effects using the percussion instruments.
  • Invite another group to watch and listen to the performance, so that they can set up the same activity themselves on another day.

Woven scenes

You will need: large-hole weaving fabric or a stretch of outdoor fencing; a selection of collage materials (wool, card, ribbon, shiny paper, and so on).

  • Refer back to the pictures, photos and scenes that the children have made to depict the different environments in episode one – the stream, the wood and the meadow. Explain that the children are going to create a woven picture that captures the colour and feeling of these scenes.
  • Choosing from a selection provided by yourself, or materials brought in from home, ask children to select the colours and textures that they wish to use. You may want to divide the class into three large groups, with each group responsible for one scene.
  • Using weaving fabric or a section of fencing, work with the children to weave the materials to create a textured backdrop. Further decorations can then be added – painted fish for the stream, feathers and leaves for the wood scene, and paper butterflies/dragonflies for the meadow scene

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