PE25: Educational Resource & Story: Marvin’s Market Adventure and Grandma’s Special Birthday Picnic
Reading readiness skills with Marvin’s Adventure resources
Access to the literate environment and exposure to incidental learning opportunities don’t occur naturally for a child with vision impairment or special educational needs. Building a solid foundation of reading readiness skills and fun experiences is therefore critical.
‘Marvin’s Market Adventure and Grandma’s Special Birthday Picnic’ is both a story and an educational resource pack. It offers a holistic approach to reading readiness skills and emergent literacy development. Embracing rich concrete experiences involving objects, people and activities related to the concept of the Market Place.
Using a theme-based approach during the emergent stages of literacy development enables us to offer a multitude of rich learning opportunities. The suggested activities in this resource support the key elements of emergent literacy. Tactile discrimination, fine motor, book/story skills and language development.
Read the lovely story of Marvin on his adventure at the market place and at the same time maximise the learning opportunities using this holistic, fun and creative approach to literacy.
What people are saying about reading readiness skills with Marvin’s Adventure resources
“Marvin was a kind a little boy and he loved to visit his Grandma and help her to look after her beautiful garden. One day he decided he would surprise her as it was her birthday and he want to make her a special picnic. He wrote his list of all the things he would need for the picnic and set off to the market to make his purchases. A beautiful flower for her garden, a little shiny fish for her pond… little did he know that he was in for a surprise ! Marvin meets Little Shiny Fish and Sunny Sunflower who are MAGIC! Plus he helps Veg Man Vernon and Fishman Phil and meets Flora Flower and Barbara Baker the lovely cake maker along the way.”
Lesley, Teacher of SEND, enjoyed this multi-sensory story with her own daughter and gave us her opinion from her role as teacher and as parent…
“Loved Marvin’s Adventure! Annie absolutely absorbed everything and we didn’t even get onto some of your proposed activities… I can see this product being fully embraced by pre-school education providers as it’s such great value for all that it includes. Perhaps some parents could be overwhelmed by the amount of educational activities that it actually offers…?
I’m not sure that it would be fully utilised to its entire value and potential but can imagine a good nursery setting absolutely embracing its every opportunity! I could see Annie’s nursery for example absolutely working with Marvin for a half term – there’s so much to do with it and can fulfil and entire scheme of work right across the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Love it Gwyn!!! Congratulations on such a fabulous product. The story was really brought to life with the audio and real experiences to support it We found ourselves talking about Marvin in all aspects of our day.”
Diana Frater, Teacher of VI, West Dunbartonshire
Background: Diana used the story to support a little girl with a brain tumour who has lost her vision and whose learning has been affected also. The little girl loved Marvin and was so taken by the story; she asked if she could put on her own play of Marvin. She chose the characters from her class, they rehearsed, made all their own props, changed the end of the story and finally they performed it for the whole school. I was lucky enough to go and watch them perform the story. It was MAGIC!
This is what Diana says…
‘Thank you for this wonderful story! All the children loved Marvin and found it fun to spot all the ways he helped people as he went on his market adventure. The children saw in Marvin that we can all show love in small acts of care and kindness every day! They loved finding all the times that Marvin helped people and thought about how they might do the same kind of things. The children loved that Marvin made Grandma happy and made sure she wasn’t lonely.’
Hannah Burnley, Teacher of V.I. Tameside
“Marvin’s show came to visit special schools in our area as an end of term treat. I loved how every child was given their own bag of sensory resources to use during the show. It was so lovely to see such engaged and enthusiastic children (and adults!!) You can take Marvin with you wherever you go – after just one show it gave me so many ideas of new activities to develop everyday with all children.”
Daniel Downes, Teacher of VI
Background: Daniel used the story of Marvin to engage the children he supports in learning to read and write via Braille. They planned the picnic, went on the bus to buy the ingredients, role played the story and the picnic.
Daniel says…“I knew they loved the story as they were completely silent throughout. They could also remember the main characters weeks after.”
“The most important factor is that the children are learning real skills which they can apply immediately. At the end of the term, we are going to go to a local market with our lovely braille lists and we will use our coin recognition skills to re create the story in real life.”
Erica Hunt, Teacher of VI
‘Marvin’s Market Adventure is a lovely fun, filled story for all children. Children grow to love the characters and the events that unfold in the story. The children I have read the story to have loved every minute!’
Elfa H – teacher, Iceland
‘The Marvin story is a truly great story for children. It teaches them the value of friendship and empathy and allows them to participate as audience. Truly a great story for the young audience’
From Journalist at Barnes Literacy Festival 2018
From the organisers at Barnes – caption reads ‘The kids had so much fun with this lady @pos_eye this weekend. Thanks Gwyn!’
Nina, teacher of children with complex needs
‘Thanks Gwyn, can confirm it was a success! And everyone took something away from it.’
‘Our PMLD classes had a fabulous time during the sensory story performance. Gwyn’s enthusiasm was infectious! We still sign and say ‘Fishman Phil and Veg man Vernon.’ It was perfectly pitched for a wide variety of complex needs. The story offered an assortment of sensory experiences meeting the needs of our children. Thank- you’
Natalie, teacher of children with complex needs
‘Thank you so much for yesterday. Everyone had a wonderful time. You have inspired us all and given an enjoyable experience for all the pupils’
Peggy Sinclair Morris, Kentucky University, Deafblind Program
‘Gwyn brings the story of Marvin and his friends in Marvin’s Market, come to life as she plays the different parts. The concepts she builds upon and the witty conversations make you feel like you’re right there, in the market with Marvin and Fishman Phil.’
Full copy of review from Barnes Literacy Festival by Malin Hamilton Backer
‘Telling her story of Marvin, the little boy that was shopping for groceries for his surprise picnic with his Grandma, we meet Gwyn McCormack who is currently dressed up as the character Barbara the baker.
“Can anyone tell me what is next on the grocery list?” Gwyn asks whilst pointing towards the board with a picture of a bottle of lemonade. “Wine!” A three-year old little boy shouted out, leaving his mum in shock and filling the room with laughter.
Gwyn’s story time session isn’t like most others.
She dresses up as the different characters, using sound effects and handing items from the stories told for the children to feel and create a fun, meaningful and interactive learning opportunity for all children, in particular for those with special educational needs.
Being a teacher and award-winning SEN trainer for the story of Marvin’s Market Adventure, this way of learning is close to Gwyn’s heart. “Children need to have the real objects to hold to make sure their literacy experience is meaningful and accessible and inclusive of all children. And I think some children if you just read the book without the props to hold it is not as meaningful. It needs to consist of language development, fine motor skills, tactile discrimination and so on… If you’re blind for instance and you don’t know what an apple is or a fish is, it’s important to hold the objects to experience what you can’t see” she explains.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to get the children to interact with the stories or to explore the child’s everyday environment. Gwyn uses props such as colourful flowers, cardboard fish and shopping bags for each child with all the groceries the character Marvin needed.’
Review 11 – Awesome Book Club Review
Marvin’s Seaside Adventure and the rescue of Super Sparkle
Marvin’s Market Adventure and Grandma’s Special Birthday Picnic. The books are great full of good multi-sensory ideas to use alongside the stories. Gwyn has some videos on YouTube that I have enjoyed watching with my boys. You can see her passion and enthusiasm in the way she dresses up and delivers the stories. William particularly liked Beautiful Betty Bird. Thomas likes Princess Peggy’s Pink Ice Cream Parlour. They can adapted for all children to enjoy is amazing.
As a teacher I know that it is always great to have some reading readiness skills resources. With ideas in ready to use with children in my class. All children can enjoy multi-sensory story activities.
The story booklet
Marvin’s reading readiness skills educational resource is suitable for children age 3+ and would create a wonderful topic for an early years setting to follow. It includes:
- The story of Marvin’s Market Adventure and Grandma’s Special Picnic. Told in 6 short chapters, with clear illustrations of the key characters included within each chapter
- Audio version of the story read by a professional actor
- An individual booklet introducing the key characters to the child. The child can look at their own special book of characters whilst listening to the story
- A further booklet ‘Maximising the learning opportunities’ is packed full of many fun, wonderful ideas and activities. These are all linked to the Market Place to further support the child’s learning
- Powerpoint of photographs of the learning resources (wonderful homemade ideas to support the ‘Maximising learning opportunities booklet’)
- Includes a FREE 10 week multi-sensory programme linked to each section of the Marvin Story. Comprehensive and gives key concepts, key events, key resources and a step by step session by session programme. It also includes a map of the story to Positive Looking and the 22 essential experiences which undergird literacy
- Plus a What to make and what to collect list to help you get organised.
A must buy for all early years settings and specialist practitioners working with children with SEND. It will bring a smile to your face and to the children you read this to!