University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Icky, sticky, let’s get tricky

Icky, sticky, let’s get tricky

Key Points

This strategy is about making it part of normal everyday life for students to use ‘tricks’ or prompts to help them engage, and deal with everyday problems (tricky situations) through making stories about tricky situations

How is this tweaked for flex?
Children are likely to be in need of some individual or tailored support in the classroom.This support will need to be varied so the child doesn't get bored with using one "trick" to help them. This can make them stand out in a negative way, leading to low self-esteem and refusing to use support. This strategy turns this potential negative into a positive.
  • This can be a group activity as it promotes inclusion
  • You or another staff member will need to set aside 15-20 minutes to do this activity
  • Have your students create a personalised story where a character needs help to achieve a goal [at school]: an icky sticky story. Personalise it to your class or student. We've included a range of resources for school scenarios), story starters or comic strip templates
  • Tell them what you would include if you were making the story for yourself
  • Translate the ideas from this into discussion, check they understand:
    • It is normal to need prompts or help
    • Different people need different things so sometimes you stand out, but that’s OK
    • That you support them to be their own best self
  • Remind students of their stories and praise them when they use or ask for support in class
  • Using the reflection template, consider:
    • Did you notice any changes in the child’s attitude or behaviour once they had made their icky sticky story?
    • Does reminding them of the story help them to understand and accept support more readily?
    • How often do you find they need reminding?
    • As the student's needs change (or they get bored), you may need to update the story or have them create another one