At this time of year I am regularly greeted at meetings in the West Midlands area with 'What's that story you told last year ?' or 'You're the one who tells that story about the robin, aren't you?'
For the last three I've promised to put it online. And I've finally done it!
I first came across this story on a Tweenies video from Spain - La Nochebuena. In this particular episode, Santi Claws, as Jake calls him, picks up the Tweenies from their houses on Christmas Eve and takes them to the North Pole where he tells them the story of 'Los chalecos del pequeño petirrojo', a translation of Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnley.
It's the story of a little robin who washes and irons his seven warm vests the week before Christmas. Each day he puts on a different coloured one and goes out into the cold, only to meet another animal who complains of being cold. And each day, he gives away his vest to the other animal, until he is left on Christmas Eve with no vests left, cold and alone! The story ends happily though as Father Christmas comes along and takes the robin to the North Pole where Mother Christmas knits him a very special red vest that will always keep warm.
I immediately saw the potential of this story in my classroom. I taught Kindergarten to Year 6 at the time and could see how it could be used with all these age groups. Initially, I downloaded clipart pictures of the animals and made flashcards, then drew different coloured vests. I laminated them all and told the story with these, moving the vests from robin to rabbit, mole, frog etc. It's a great story as you can count the vests over and over, discuss the colour of the next vest and guess the next animal. It's good for repetition - the refrain 'Tengo frío' is soon taken up by even the youngest children, who also like to join in with Gracias (good manners!) and it encourages concentration and memorisation as the children try to recall what happens next. And there's the 'moral' element too - the robin showed the true spirit of Christmas by giving selflessly to help others, and was rewarded with his very special red vest.
As I said, I've used my laminated flashcards and vests for the last few years and every year am availed upon to repeat my performance at RSGs. And finally, inspired by a request from Jo Rhys-Jones for help, I made the long awaited Powerpoint presentation, complete with animations and sound files. It took AGES to make so I hope you like it. I've uploaded it to Slideshare and embedded it below.
I've also uploaded the scanned flashcards and vests in case you want to laminate them and tell the story that way.
I think it would make a great assembly with masks and vest, and I did spend a while today in charity shops looking for different coloured vests or T-shirts.... but I didn't find any so I'm working on my next plan - do PE bibs come in pink and purple??