National Storytelling Week 2021

“Storytelling can be found enriching lives everywhere. The sharing between teller and listener empowers, feeding the imagination from one generation to the next.”- Society for Storytelling.

Forever it seems stories have been told. From the time of cave paintings 80,000 years ago till now. In these strange times of now, your stories, our stories all of our stories are more important than ever. National Storytelling Week is celebrated annually by all ages who read the likes of folktales, fairytales, love stories and more. The possibilities of genres are endless!

The Society for Storytelling is a UK-based society founded in 1993. They are hosting their annual National Storytelling Week soon (this year it runs from 30th Jan~ 6th February). They have helpful resources that will give you guidance on many aspects of Storytelling. 

National Storytelling Week is celebrated for a full week in February and takes places in all sorts of places, including schools, hospitals and care homes. Stories are chosen and are told in a magical way between the teller and the listener. It’s a fantastic way for people to share their own story, or even invent something entirely new.

The society’s mission is to promote the oral tradition of storytelling which was the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination. Storytelling has been shown by studies to aid learning in children for history, increase interest in science and have a positive effect on memory. When the students do the storytelling, it can encourage higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition.

We have a range of resources that can support you and your students during National Storytelling Week.

The Whole Story resource features a professional storyteller offering his advice to teachers on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum using images, objects and structure. This resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children by capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller and arranging this advice into a simple interface.

Why not re-tell the story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon, Fafnir? This resource uses both AR and VR so that the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale. You could even make use of the green screen pack that is included to retell this ancient tale, making use of the high-quality graphics and audio included to bring their story to life.

You could also explore Space Adventures Mission to the Moon. This unique and engaging cross-curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic content and a Virtual Reality (VR) experience linked to the narrative.  The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut, Tazz, to return safely back to Earth. Will Mic, the onboard computer, be enough to get her back safely? Or will she need to use her maths problem-solving skills and science knowledge and understanding to get her back to safety?

Children can use Audio Network to search for music that will form the backdrop to their own stories or to stories that they are retelling. This resource has recently been updated and features over 50,000 individual audio files. In addition, you could make use of the BBC Sound EffectsArchive – this large database of audio sound effects can be used within a wide range of applications in an educational context.  Many sounds have multiple versions to suit different uses and help enhance videos and stories.

LGfL Image Bank contains high-resolution licence images from a variety of LGfL content provider partners including the Royal Collection Trust and the British Library. These would be an excellent way to stimulate the pupil’s imaginations and could provide the setting for their narratives.

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well-known authors in ReadingZone Live. ReadingZone Live is a development of the existing partnership between LGfL and www.Readingzone.com and brings regular interviews and live video conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors to London schools.

Antony Horowitz, Henry Winkler, Sophie McKenzie, Michael Morpurgo, Julian Clary, Sally Nichols and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme, which is helping inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and to develop their own creative writing.

Early Years practitioners or Key Stage could make use of our Fairy Tales resource and then re-tell their favourite Fairytale using the PDF images included within the resource. 

Another fantastic resource to use during this week is Listening Books; these audiobooks are great to appreciate stories read aloud. There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • An Inconvenient Truth: the Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • Dates with History: 6th August 1945 The Bombing of Hiroshima by John Malam
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

Don’t forget as an LGfL subscribing school, you also have access to all the tools found in the Adobe Creative Cloud, why not use these tools to help you students tell their story with this simple but powerful lesson example from the Adobe Education Exchange. 

This short resource will walk you through a quick challenge to get started with Adobe Spark. Learn ways Adobe Spark can be used to help your students make their thinking visible and share their voices with the world! Teachers love Spark! Adobe Spark for Education is a simple, powerful, presentation and storytelling tool which is perfect for the classroom. Spark is quick and easy to master, runs on any browser, and includes a beautifully creative set of tools that will help unlock the creativity of your students.

We would love to read some of your pupils’ stories – why not share them on our Twitter feed or our Facebook page #NationalStorytellingWeek.