A guide to an amazing National Storytelling Week
With National Storytelling Week just around the corner, it’s time to think about how to immerse children in sharing stories and storytelling. National Storytelling Week starts from the 30th January- 5th February so it is crucial for teachers to plan for this week. Every day throughout the week is an opportunity to focus on the power of storytelling.
To help you with fresh National Storytelling Week ideas to implement into lessons, we have created a guide to an amazing National Storytelling Week. These ideas will guarantee your pupils to love stories and everything about storytelling.
Read together every day
Reading together and telling pupils stories is something teachers are familiar with. This usually occurs once every week but during National Storytelling Week, why not make this every day?
You can mix this up and steer away from the usual teacher telling the story to the children. Doing this will keep your pupils engaged with storytelling throughout the week and reduce the chances of them growing bored. Alternatives to you telling the story during reading together time could be, letting the children choose the book you read together, taking turns to read paragraphs or chapters if you split the class up, and individual silent reading.
You can ask questions throughout this reading time to get pupils thinking about the meaning of the story and analyse it. These questions can be based on what’s happened or what could happen to make pupils think creatively.
Expand children’s story genres
The best way to celebrate National Storytelling Week is to read. A great way to get children interested in reading throughout the week is to expand their reading skills through offering a variety of genres.
A great way to accomplish this is through reading packs that offer different genres for children to read at the appropriate reading level. Children can delve into something they’re not usually interested in and open their minds to different forms of literature. This makes sure that children improve their reading skills and expand their knowledge. Plus, it can lead to pupils enjoying other genres and creating a passion for reading.
Readjust the setting of your classroom
To immerse your pupils into reading, storytelling and writing, why not readjust your classroom set-up? Storytelling is a very group-focused exercise with occasional independent work. For National Storytelling Week it is important for your classroom to reflect this type of learning.
A great way to do this is to push tables together and allow flexible seating where pupils can sit wherever they want each day. This gives them an opportunity to work with other children each day and socialise too. Also, ensure to have a dedicated reading corner if you don’t have one already to encourage independent reading. It can also make a great space for storytelling in small groups. Have bookcases full of various books to choose from and comfy seating such as beanbags.
Have plenty of space at the front of the classroom to do class storytelling and reading. Offer cushions for children to sit on the floor to immerse themselves in the class exercise.
Create on the spot stories
Let children’s imaginations flourish by challenging them to tell stories on the spot. It can be based on anything but to prompt them you can choose objects in the classroom for them to base a story on. They can then tell a very short story based on the objects chosen using their creativity. You could even do a class story based on items in the classroom where each pupil says a sentence. With this, add other items as the story continues. Children need to remember each one and add to the story that others have created.
Hold a writing competition
A perfect way to celebrate storytelling in this guide to an amazing National Storytelling Week is through writing stories. To interest pupils in writing, you could run a competition where the winner can win something exciting. An idea for a prize could be a book the pupil chooses.
The competition can be up to the children, or you could give them a few prompts to choose from to help the reluctant writers in your class.
Or, if possible, you could team up with a local children’s writing competition and enter your class. These tend to be for various schools across the country or area so are a great way to partake in writing stories. Plus, the prizes tend to be amazing for children too, and a selection can even get published in a book or newspaper.
Allow children to delve into role-play
To make sure that children have the most fun with storytelling, let them role-play and act stories out. Split the class into small groups and allow them to choose which characters they want to be and who wants to be the narrator. Only step in when conflict occurs to assist in their decision-making.
Encourage them to get into the story by changing their tone of voice and incorporating their body language. Let each group practise their role-play and then hold performances to the whole class!
Play story-based games
Story-based games are an enjoyable way to get children sharing stories and creating them without even knowing. There is a plethora of story-based games you can play which can be found through quick research.
Story-themed board games are great to use for celebrating National Storytelling Week. There are all sorts of board games based on lots of different classic stories such as our Vilac wolf game. This is based on the 3 little pigs and encapsulates the story in the objective of the game. Perfect for younger children to learn stories in a fun simple way.
You can even create story games yourself for your class. You could do ‘guess the story’ with popular books which will test children’s knowledge of classics. All you have to do is read a description of a traditional story leaving out parts that give it away. Get pupils to work in groups to work out what story the description is from.
Share stories through audio
In 2022 37% of children stated they prefer to listen to things via audio (literacytrust). To entice children into the world of storytelling, why not assign them audio versions of books to listen to? Sharing stories through audio suits children more as they can fully immerse themselves into the story instead of trying to figure out what words can mean. This is especially for younger children as they’re not confident readers.
You could even find some podcasts that share stories for children. Podcasts are increasingly becoming very popular and can give ideas and thoughts on stories through conversation. Podcasts can help pupils analyse text and give them an idea on how to do that through these discussions.
Use these National Storytelling Week ideas to enhance your pupil’s learning and develop their core reading, listening and writing skills. There are plenty of ways to get children to share stories during the week and beyond. Stories don’t have to be shared through reading, and these ideas can be tweaked to meet individual needs so that everyone can feel comfortable and get involved!
This guide to an amazing National Storytelling Week will ensure that your pupils enjoy and fall in love with storytelling.
Explore the benefits of storytelling further to understand the importance of stories and National Storytelling Week.