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Sensory Story Project – How to Use a Sensory Story at School

How Can I Use a Sensory Story in My School?

Each Sensory Story can be tailored and adapted to suit different levels of needs. Whether you are wanting to demonstrate Joanna’s Sensory Story Projects in a specialist setting or in a mixed-ability class, each story can easily be adapted depending on the intended audience.

What are Sensory Stories?

Photograph of a blue washing basket, filled with a green bobbled bath mat, plastic spider, mortar and pestle, lavender oil and other sensory items.

Joanna shows how easy it can be to source sensory stimuli.

Sensory Stimuli is important for everyone, and each sensory story includes a guide to help you easily source a collection of stimuli from around the house or local market, that will engage children throughout the story telling process. This fantastic new way of delivering stories to children provides excitement and entertainment, but most importantly, allows those with additional needs a way of understating the narrative without having to rely on speech.

Although these wonderful stories are ideal for children of all abilities and ages, Joanna stresses that their origin and designation is specifically for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). It is children with PMLD who will benefit most from the experience, and story telling in mixed-ability groups can be used as a tool for promoting understanding of disabilities.

Techniques for Different Class Settings

Consistency is key when introducing children with additional needs to the sensory stories. Joanna suggests visiting the class setting several times over a number of weeks, and taking time to repeat the story until the children gain familiarity with the experience as a whole.

Joanna also suggests a number of techniques for introducing children with sensory processing difficulties to certain stimuli they may find challenging. This is covered in-depth in Joanna’s information guide “How Can I Use a Sensory Story in My School“.

Sensory Stories in Primary and High School Settings

Sensory Stories are ideal for children of all ages and abilities, especially those of primary school age. Each story promotes engagement and children will be delighted and fascinated by the stimuli you source for each of the stories.

Joanna notes that Sensory Stories are perfect for boosting a child’s interest in creative writing, with scents and sounds creating an opportunity for verbal communication and language development. Allowing children to describe the sounds, sights, tastes and textures they encounter whilst experiencing the Sensory Stories allow them to explore their vocabulary, especially their use of adjectives.

In a secondary school setting Sensory Stories can be used to illustrate discussions based upon difference. Joanna suggests asking students to distil the essence of a story or subject in only 10 sentences. This allows the pupils to recognise the key elements of story telling, and challenge their understanding of the text – which Joanna notes is an ideal thought process for retaining information for revision and study.


If you would like to read the full guide Joanna has issued with information about presenting Sensory Stories in a school setting, please click the button below…

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This is part one in a series of informative guides about the Sensory Story Project, and we will be publishing further parts later this year.


About the Sensory Story Project

The Sensory Story Project is the creation of Joanna Grace. Using her in-depth knowledge, experience and most importantly, passion for sensory education, Joanna has produced a range of sensory story experiences that can be shared with children and adults with multiple and profound learning difficulties.

Joanna’s Sensory Story Project transforms ordinary tales into sensory exploration experiences, including guides to help you source a smorgasbord of stimuli to entertain and delight using visuals, sound, touch, taste and smell.

For further information about Joanna’s fantastic project, to sample free stories and purchase Sensory Story Projects to use at home or school, please visit  http://jo.element42.org

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