A box - or "treasure chest" - filled with simple stimulus items like some pink and white cotton wool for a Proud Cloud, a little pillow as a Sad Pad, a little dish as a Wish Dish and a plastic bone as a Groan Bone. A child chooses a stimulus item and tells, for example, of something or someone they are proud of if holding the cloud. That item is then passed round as others recall proud moments.
At the end children can draw their proud moment on a paper "cloud" for a mobile or wall display. These ideas promote speaking and listening, as only the person holding the item can talk. They are also wonderful for promoting self esteem.
Ingenious teachers can extend ideas to include a pretty birthday card for pupils to tell who they would send it to, or a first prize badge to give the opportunity to say what they would love to win first prize for. The treasure chest can be brought out and selected from on special occasions (a rainy day is always a special day for teachers) to calm a noisy classroom and give everyone the opportunity to contribute.
Jeanne Holloway, ex-senior advisory teacher in the Literacy Support Service, Surrey County Council
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