National Storytelling Week officially kicks off on the 30th January. This week is a fantastic opportunity to teach and remind your students of the importance of storytelling! As teachers, teaching assistants and mentors, we can often find it hard to fit ‘story time’ into busy schedules and timetables. National Storytelling Week gives us a great excuse to remember the amazing benefits that it can have and shine the spotlight on the power of stories!
What is National Storytelling Week?
National Storytelling Week takes place every year and is a celebration of the power of sharing stories. Stories tell us about the world, allow us to step into someone else’s shoes and create emotions. They allow us to escape and imagine – not to mention develop our essential literacy skills! A survey recently done by the National Literacy Trust showed that nearly 2 in 5 children enjoy listening to stories in the classroom!
How to celebrate National Storytelling Week in your classroom!
We have put together some ways to make National Storytelling Week a success in your school or classroom! Whether it is for a bit of fun or to kickstart great habits in reading or writing, there is an activity for everyone.
Writing a story (or reading one!) should not have to be a drawn-out and boring experience. There are plenty of games that encourage children to get their creative juices flowing! For example, children writing the beginning of a story on a piece of paper. Then, they take the paper and pass it to someone else who writes the next part of the story. Once this has gone around the class comes the exciting bit – reading it all aloud and seeing what story you came up with! Games like this work really well as a warm up, to encourage reluctant writers to put pen to paper.
National Storytelling Week comes before World Book Day and is a great opportunity to see what children are reading at home and audit which students have access to reading. A great idea would be to set up a book swap within your classroom. Ask all students to bring in their favourite book at the start of the week and to swap it with someone else in the classroom. Take some time at the end of the week to allow the students to swap back and then present to the class what they have learned from their new book. This is also a fantastic way to allow children to find new genres they love.
Create a writing stimulus for children
Children often produce their best writing when it is about something tangible to them – something that they have seen or experienced. Why not encourage them by putting a mysterious object in the classroom and ask them to write a story about it? Give the children time to write their story and then time to present their story to the rest of the class. This will emphasise to students the power of storytelling and how differently we can interpret an object and story. Encourage them to produce great pieces of work that include rich detail and description.
Go out into the community
National Storytelling Week is a fantastic opportunity to go out and visit your local community, whether it be a care home, hospital, nursery or community centre. Your class could create a story and perform it in front of an audience – spreading joy whilst developing their confidence and storytelling skills!
National Storytelling Week – Exciting resources!
To make your life easier, we have done some research and put together some of the most exciting and interesting resources we could find for you to use during National Storytelling Week!
StoryQuest – 28 ways to turn children into storytellers
This is a fantastic resource packed with original ideas and fun activities to turn children into storytellers. From courtroom dramas to story shrines, these full activities will provide the opportunity to practice retelling and creating stories in the classroom, through art, drama and technology!
Invite a storyteller to your school
How about inviting a brilliant storyteller into your school to bring the magic of storytelling to life? The National Literacy Trust have a listings tool to help you find storytellers and authors in your area. All listed individuals are responsible for providing details of their DBS check status.
Alex Rider’s Adventure Stories
Ever heard of Alex Rider? Ask your class – you most likely have a few fans! Challenge and inspire upper KS2 and KS3 pupils to write their own Alex Rider adventure story. There is a full story writer kit and accompanying resources available with lots of ideas for how the task can be incorporated into class time. There is also an experiential learning kit with nine tasks for pupils to complete taking them on a secret mission around the school!
Share your National Storytelling Week adventures with us!
We would love to see what you get up to during National Storytelling Week. Whether it is classroom storytime, a book swap or a classroom game – we would love to see what you got up to and share it across our social media channels! Drop us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org