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We are storytellers

At Fir Tree, we love stories in all forms - from listening to tales, to reading books and even telling our own stories to an audience. This year, we have all worked really hard to practise our storytelling skills because we know that as well as being lots of fun, it also helps us become fantastic story writers. We have seen that as we use the language of storytelling out loud, it becomes part of our language when we write too!


Our teachers help us learn stories in a really clever way, called: Hear, Map, Step, Speak. 

  • Hear - We hear our teacher tell us the story. They use actions, props and pictures to help us understand the events and characters of the story. When we feel confident, we can start to copy the actions and join in at saying some of the parts we know!
  • Map - We draw our own story map; this helps us remember the main things that happen in the story and put them in the right order. We draw pictures and arrows to show the order of events.
  • Step - Using our maps, we step out the story. We take each event as one step and use actions and sounds to help us remember what is happening at that time.This helps us to remember the story as a picture in our minds. 
  • Speak  - Only when we've mapped and stepped our story, can we start to tell it. Sometimes we tell the story as a pair by passing the steps from our story maps back and fowards between us; at other times, we might tell the story as a whole class story circle where we each tell a bit. When we are really confident, we can start to tell the story on our own, but we can always have our story maps and actions to help us remember!


Storytelling across the school

Since September, we have been learning a range of stories across the different classes. Here you can see a little bit of what each class has been working on! 


Story Club

Mrs Ash interviewed children from different classes about how storytelling helped them and what ideas they had for storytelling in the future, and one of our suggestions was to have a 'Story Club' where children could tell, write, act out and make up stories.


Story Club meet once a week and these are some of the ways we've developed our understanding of stories...

  • Visited the Story Museum in Oxford to learn new stories and explore the 22 Characters exhibition
  • Visited Wallingford library to find out about popular stories (and even borrowed our own books)
  • Acted out and presented Shakespeare's Richard III 
  • Created story scenes in shoe boxes
  • Played storytelling games like 'Fortunately, Unfortunately'
  • Written and illustrated our own stories 



Sharing stories at Wallingford library and exploring the story writing machine at the story museum.



Learning from a professional storyteller and exploring the 22 charcters exhibition at the Story Museum.


Story Club's plans for the future are to create our own story exhibitions like at the Story Museum where classes can visit and learn about the story with props, sounds and scenery. Watch this space!


After our visit we received this email from the Story Museum - check out the video on YouTube:

I hope this reaches you just before you disappear for Christmas holidays but we just wanted to say a huge thank you to your class who participated in filming for our Christmas video during their visit to The Story Museum on 9 December. The result is here and the children are absolutely enchanting – so happy Christmas and many, many thanks.



Sophie, on behalf of all The Story Museum team



Storytelling in classes


Willow Class have been learning the story of Little Charlie. We have been telling the story together in a story circle, telling the story to each other in our story pairs and stepping the story out. We have been practicing using story telling language to tell our story. 




Ash and Cedar classes have been sharing their knowledge of storytelling. We both learned different tales and spent an afternoon sharing them with each other, this resulted in both classes learning double the number of stories! 




Upper School have linked Storytelling with their 'Ancient China' project as they have learned the story of the Willow Pattern Plate!



 We have used the Hear Map Step Speak to help us remember the story and have used actions to help us with the different openers, such as 'In a magnificent pagoda...'




Cherry class used the story to help them design their own Willow Pattern plates in art:




Chestnut Class Y5/6

We have been learning the legendary tale of 'The Wooden Horse', where a clever Greek king defeats the Trojan army with a brilliant trick. To enhance our understanding of the story, we researched the Ancient Greeks and found out about their war tactics! We had fun using drama to deepen the story in our minds and wrote playscripts to go with different steps of the story, which we acted out to each other. 



We used storystepping to help us learn the events of the story. 



We used actions to reinfoce the events and even the time connectives, such as 'Eventually'. 



We used our storymaps to help us re-tell the story to each other; first in pairs, then on our own. 



As well as learning stories, we really enjoy hearing them - Silver Birch Class came and shared some of their storytelling with us this week - it was great fun!




Our favourite so far has been Baba Yaga, an old European Traditional Tale. Here are a couple of photographs of us sharing our storytelling with Willow Class.






Want to know more about story telling? Try the Story Museum in Oxford!


Have you visited the newly re-opened Story Museum on our doorstep? (Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP) 


It's a fantastic place to go if you enjoy stories or want to find out more about storytelling! Have a look on the website for more details, including examples of stories you can learn on your own at home!