Heaven and Hell

There is lovely simplicity and hopefulness in this well-known Japanese story. It also has a powerful lesson – may we all learn it!

The Birth of Athena

Here’s another great creation story about how wisdom came into the world. It tells us how Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, was born.  It also puts a lovely positive spin on having a headache! Lots to explore here and a lovely springboard for writing your own creation stories. 

Great British Bake Off Macbeth

Here’s a fantastic example of story recycling: Macbeth retold to take place on the Great British Bake Off 2020. This new version of Macbeth in the modern era is full of creative flair and originality. Not only does it show how motivating story recycling can be, but also how engaging and accessible Shakespeare can be for young learners!

The Hunter and the Leopard

This is a brilliant African story about cruelty and payback; a powerful and memorable story for engaging older children. I love the fierce predator power of the leopard woman and the surprise and satisfaction of the ending.

Story Creation

How often do you make up stories with your class? Story creation is not just great fun but it allows pupils to bring their own ideas, interests and experiences to their storytelling and story writing. This sense of ownership gives a real sense of pride, achievement and joy. Take a look at this engaging telling of a really original made-up story by a Year 6 pupil entitled ‘How the French Bulldog Got Its Flat Face.’

Honey and Trouble: A Story about Misunderstanding

As part of National Share a Story Month, here’s a clip of me telling one of my favourite stories for younger children. It’s a great comedy story all about misunderstanding and how we can repeatedly bring trouble on ourselves, albeit unintentionally. 

Retelling Stories Through Song

Retelling stories through song is not only fun and energising but great for reinforcing language and plot. Here’s an example of how to do it by making up your own simple tune to retell stories for KS1 and KS2. Watch Year 4 pupil, Mali, perform her own song that she wrote to retell the story Ganesh Gets Married.

Mood Poems

Mood is such an important and useful tool for a storyteller. Here’s an example of how you might use poetry to strengthen your teaching of mood. In this video, you can hear Year 6 pupil, Kayja, tell her own mood poem in relation to the story Persephone.

The Story of Persephone

As part of National Share a Story Month in the UK, here is a video of me telling the story of Persephone. It’s a hugely popular Greek myth: a creation story, providing a delightful way of explaining how the seasons came to be. It’s also a good tale for exploring the fear and sadness of separation.

Simple Songs For Stories

Songs are brilliant fun to work with: they are playful, great for building confidence and a sense of community as well as very effective for teaching language. Take a look at this simple way of deepening story through song for Early Years and KS1.