Free Resources

Welcome to the new Free Resources area on the site.  Phil McDermott introduces the stories; Eve Bearne discusses her research; there are several videos of teachers using the videos in class and lots of lesson plan ideas that we hope you'll find helpful.  

Introduction to the Stories

Phil McDermott gives a wonderful introduction to the stories and how to use them effectively with your class that could contribute to dramatic improvements in writing.

Key research findings

Eve Bearne (Cambridge University) talks about the research she and Marilyn Mottram (Birmingham Local authority) carried out proving that the stories improved every aspect of literacy - speaking, listening, reading and writing.  This talk includes many examples of children's work and practical advice on using storytelling as a powerful tool in literacy.

The Story Spinner in a Year 2 class (part 1)

Becca Harris uses the Sleeping Beauty story with her class.   In this section she introduces drama to get to know the characters; then has the children role-play the characters; and other speaking and listening activities.

The Story Spinner in a Year 2 class (part 2)

Becca Harris continues the Sleeping Beauty story with her class.  She starts with dance to help them learn new vocabulary for the hedge around the castle; art; PSHE; oral rehearsal and guided writing. 

The Story Spinner in a Year 2 class (part 3)

Becca Harris finishes this 4-week unit of work using Sleeping Beauty with her class. They move onto independent writing - innovating and inventing new aspects of the story.  She talks about why the children are so eager to write and the exceptional quality of the writing they produce.  She discusses EAL children in particular as they imitate the language of the story so effectively in both their oral and written work. She finally shares a piece of writing from one of her reluctant boys, showing the quality of the work that he has produced in both content and execution.

The Story Spinner in a Year 4 class (part 1)

Jacqui Hatchard uses the story Theseus and the Minotaur with her year 4 class. They do an incredible range of work over a 2 week unit of work.  She discusses the difficulty she has in finding texts that interest and engage her class with a very wide range of abilities and how perfect the Story Spinner is for them all.  They watch the story and plot the 5 key points of the story from introduction to conclusion.  They go on to use visualisation, drama and freeze framing to explore how the characters change as they move through a story.

The Story Spinner in a Year 4 class (part 2)

Jacqui Hatchard continues her unit of work using Theseus and the Minotaur. After re-watching the story she notices how much the children can anticipate what is coming as they are so familiar with the story. They learn vocabulary so much more easily by reading the expression on his face.  They use art;  exploring the senses and sentence building to start to draft a poem.

The Story Spinner in a Year 4 class (part 3)

Jacqui Hatchard finishes the unit of work using Theseus and the Minotaur with her year 4 class. They complete their extended piece of writing which is a descriptive poem.  Several of the children share their work and Jacqqui is particularly proud of the work of one boy who generally struggles to get his ideas on paper.  Nine of the finished poems were selected to be published, which she says is unheard of!

Planning

The plans were designed to inspire you to easily and effectively use the DVDs. 

A great way to get started is simply to use the stories as you would use any other text. Once you are more familiar with the stories, then you can start to experiment and incorporate them into your planning.

Reception – The Three Little Pigs

Here are some prompts to engage the class in discussion about the story.

The 3 Little Pigs Questions

Year 1 – The Selfish Giant

Plans include a selection of talking points to get class discussion going; creative cross curricular and literacy ideas.

The Selfish Giant Creative Links

The Selfish Giant Literacy Links

The Selfish Giant Talking Points

Year 2 – Sleeping Beauty

Plans include a selection of creative cross curricular, literacy ideas and general notes on the story.

Sleeping Beauty Creative Links

Sleeping Beauty Y2 notes

Sleeping Beauty Literacy Links

Year 3 – Mr Wah

Plans include a selection of talking points to get class discussion going; creative cross curricular and literacy ideas.

Mr Wah creative links

Mr Wah Literacy Links

Mr Wah Talking Points

Year 4 – Granddad and the Laundry Basket

Plans include a selection of talking points to get class discussion going; creative cross curricular and literacy ideas.

Grandad Creative Links

Grandad Literacy Links

Grandad Talking Points

Year 5 – Persephone

Plans include a selection of talking points to get class discussion going; a 4 week unit of work and general literacy ideas.

Persephone Circular Planning

Persephone Talking Points

Persephone Literacy Links

Year 6 – Red Riding Hood

Plans include a selection of talking points to get class discussion going; creative cross curricular and literacy ideas.

Red Riding Hood Creative Links

Red Riding Hood Literacy Links

Red Riding Hood Talking Points