These activities give pupils opportunities to engage with the importance of story in their own lives. The activities aim to illustrate how powerful story can be. You may extend the discussion further by putting parameters around the types of story pupils should talk about. For example, you may ask them to think about the earliest stories they can remember, true stories they have heard or the most recent story they can remember.
- Ask your pupils to think about story, specifically 5 words they think about when they hear the word 'story'. Next, ask your pupils to form pairs and share their thoughts with a partner. Then, ask them to join with another pair and report to the whole class.
Give each group of four a different question from the list in the Exploring the purpose of writing resource.
Ask each group to report to the whole class.
- On page two of the Exploring the purpose of writing resource you’ll find the following quotation from Seamus Heaney’s Personal Helicon:
I rhymeTo see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
Give each group the quotation or display it on the interactive whiteboard (IWB). Ask them to explain it in their own words.
Give each pupil a piece of paper and ask them to write down one thought they have about stories and their importance – use these as a classroom display.
- Ask your pupils to use the Thinking about story resource to write down the features of their favorite story from their childhood.
Encourage them to tell it to their partner and to find similarities between their stories:
- Do they both have a hero or a villain?
- Do they have similar the settings?
- Which the genre are they?
- Do they have a similar style?
- How do they end?
Next, ask pupils to record their partner’s story in the next column, using arrows to link their ideas. In their discussion, encourage them to check how many of the features are common to both stories. Then, ask them to join up with another pair and check how many features are common to all four stories.