National Storytelling Week

National Storytelling Week

National Storytelling Week blog image

National Storytelling Week runs from 27th January to 4th February this year. It’s a great opportunity to inspire children to listen and retell stories, and, of course, write their own.

As humans, we have an innate love of stories. They can teach us about life, about ourselves and about others. They can bring us closer together and help us understand something from a different perspective. Stories can even take us to somewhere far removed from our here and now to a different universe and time, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities. They can entertain, help us empathise and inform.

In this blog, we explore some of the ways you could celebrate the week with your pupils using Busy Things’ resources. We’ve split the blog into three, so there’s something specific for:

Early Years

Think Storytelling Week and our Traditional tales activities immediately spring to mind. These activities see Busy Things’ Cat and Dog retell five of the most famous children’s stories. These being: Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Little Red Riding Hood; The Gingerbread Man; The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Little Pigs. For each story, as outlined in this previous blog, we have the story itself, What’s next and Sequencing activities, then printables to take the activity offline.

Whichever story you choose, whether it’s a story that is new to your pupils or an old favourite, the children will love how they can interact with it. They can even retell the story themselves using the masks, puppets and scene setups, which are shown below.

Click here for our Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ finger puppets.

In addition to these, and just in time for National Storytelling Week, we have added two new books to our collection, which are written, illustrated and narrated by our very own Tony Hall. The first is a charming story called One Day a Monster, which sees a monster coming around to play, whilst the second, The Chair That Went Wrong, follows the antics of Dog and Cat and their much-loved chair.

Key stage 1

Some Key stage 1 pupils will still very much enjoy the traditional tales described above. Others may prefer more advanced stories. If the latter is the case, the book extracts on Busy Things are fantastic to tap into. From ‘Toys in Space’ by Mimi Grey and ‘The New Neighbours’ by Sarah McIntyre to ‘Foxy and Egg’ by Alex T Smith, there are a whole host to choose from.

Using them is a great way to explore language as well as different storylines. Each activity has a grammar highlighter, which will help your children identify the different grammar features included, so you can discuss the role of nouns, noun phrases, verbs etc.

What does each grammar feature add to the story? What would sentence after sentence without adjectives feel like? Do longer descriptions help you feel more involved in the scene?

Key stage 2

At Key stage 2, there are even more book extracts available on Busy Things. These include more advanced texts taken from books by well-known children’s authors like Anthony Horowitz, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell amongst others.

Just like those available at Key stage 1, these offer fantastic opportunities to explore writing structures, such as extended noun phrases, the use of descriptive language and speech. Many, like ‘Alex Rider Mission 1: Stormbreaker’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ are accompanied by comprehension and/or grammar quizzes to test your pupils’ understanding.

Next step on Busy Things? To see if the children can use the writing skills you’ve talked about with a writing reinforcement exercise. Our ‘Write a short story’ activity is perfect for this. The children can choose from a whole range of images (or select their own) and write a short 175-word excerpt.


We hope the activities and resources we’ve mentioned above help you prepare something special for National Storytelling Week.

To see the activities that we’ve suggested, including the two new books we’ve just released, you’ll need to sign up for a 28-day free trial here.

If you find you need help finding things, we’ll happily show you around. Simply join one of our free Zoom tutorials and we’ll give you a tour. If you let us know more about your school’s situation, we can ensure we cover off the elements that will help you most.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.