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National Storytelling Week 2024: ideas and classroom activities for storytelling

Added 15 Dec 2023 | Updated 18 Mar 24

Storytelling Week 2024 banner

What is National Storytelling Week?

In 2024, National Storytelling Week took place from 27 January to 4 February.

This fantastic annual event is a joyful celebration of the power of sharing stories. Stories teach us about the world, they allow us to step into someone else’s shoes and feel empathy, they help us to relax and escape and they can help develop essential literacy skills.

While we wait to find out what will happen for National Storytelling Week in 2025, take a look at what we got up to this year and explore resources to use in your classroom and setting...

National Storytelling Week Activities 2024: Dream Up a World

Engaging with writing role models can inspire children to be deeply experimental, creative, and develop confidence in their own writing ability. Through our programme of online classroom events and follow-up resources, pupils were invited to engage with a variety of fantastic authors and storytellers to help them discover the young storyteller within themselves.

From picture books to video games, we offered something to inspire a love of storytelling for learners of all ages and interests.

Our live events with supporting resources for 2024 provided inspirational insights and creative challenges for pupils aged from 5 to 14. These included:

  • A virtual storytelling session with author Swapna Haddow for ages 5 to 7 (KS1), with children supported to create their own character and story inspired by Swapna's hilarious and heartfelt picture books: My dad is a Grizzly Bear and My Mum is a Lioness.

  • An interactive story building event with poet and author Steven Camden for ages 7 to 11 (KS2).
    To follow on from this event, working with Steven Camden and with support from REY paper, we created an immersive storytelling project supporting pupils to create their own story world. Schools with current premium membership of the National Literacy Trust can access resources to run this project at any time of the year.
Dream up a World: Storytelling project
  • For older students, aged 11 to 14 (KS3), our live panel event brought together professionals from the gaming industry, including Rare Games, and BAFTA Games. Panel members shared their expertise and experience of storytelling and world creation in the gaming industry, including a thought-provoking Q&A session. Follow the link below to watch a recording of our panel discussion event.
Watch recording: Dream up a Gaming World

Storytelling in the early years

Storytelling can be a magical experience - and the flexibility of making up your own stories can allow stories to be personalised for the children you are with by including favourite toys, familiar people, and even the children themselves! You don't always need books to tell a story.

Discover our selection of videos from Niall Moorjani to support the development of sharing and telling stories.

Story sacks are also a great way to bring real stories alive for children - find inspiration and guidance in our Story Sacks resources.

Learn more about Story Sacks

Explore more classroom storytelling activities

  • Storysack Guide for Early Years - Explore our activities, tips and ideas for how to Make and use a Storysack to tell stories creatively.
  • Dream up a World (ages 7 to11): our fun and interactive Dream up a World Storytelling project developed with Steven Camden is a premium resource that will inspire creativity and help pupils to embrace writing as a pleasurable, personal practice.
  • Storytelling project for primaries: foster a love of storytelling whilst developing pupils’ oracy skills with our premium Become a storyteller project
  • Enjoy stories across a range of themes and genres in our Young Readers Story Club.
  • Explore 28 ways to turn children into storytellers - take a look at this fantastic StoryQuest resource, packed with original ideas and fun activities to turn children into storytellers - created by Kate Norgate of The Crick Crack Club.
  • Write an Alex Rider adventure story - if you have Alex Rider fans in your class, why not challenge them to write their own Alex Rider adventure story? Explore the resource to access a story writing kit and accompanying resources with lots of ideas for how the tasks can be incorporated into class time.
  • Free River of Stories collection - the A River of Stories anthologies can strengthen your pupils' imaginations, critical thinking, and their ability to participate in culturally diverse local and global communities. Each volume contains a story or poem from each of the 53 countries in the Commonwealth, great for sharing with your class.

Looking for a storyteller for your school?

If you’re looking for a brilliant storyteller or author to bring the magic of storytelling to life, who is local to your school try our listings tool.

Storytelling resources for families

We also have resources to help families enjoy the age-old tradition of storytelling and share their own stories, memories, and experiences.

Visit our Words for Life webpage for top tips on storytelling at home, and to download our ‘dream up what’s behind this door’ activity sheet.

Explore family activities
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