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A River of Stories - Tales and Poems from Across the Commonwealth

Added 25 Jul 2019 | Updated 07 Feb 23

We are delighted to provide four fully illustrated anthologies of poems and stories from around the Commonwealth to download absolutely free, along with comprehensive classroom resources.

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The poems and stories

The A River of Stories anthologies can strengthen your pupils' imagination, 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 fifty-three countries in the Commonwealth. The themes of the stories and poems are based on four key elements that sustain our planet: water, earth, air and fire. Through the stories, poems and illustrations, students are invited to enter into the imaginations and aspirations of others from across the Commonwealth, to engage with unfamiliar representations of the world (both social and natural), and to consider the challenging issues facing our world.

Classroom resources

The overarching theme of the resources is intercultural understanding and these three key resources explore this through topic-based learning, reading comprehension and drama. The suggested activities have been designed for pupils aged 9 to 13 years.

Themed activities

This resource provides suggestions of classroom activities which explore a cluster of poems and stories grouped by theme including cultural identity, places, the natural world and extreme natural events, gender, and political change. The resource is broken down into three sections:

  • Thinking critically about culture
  • What does culture mean to us?
  • What are our perceptions of other countries?

Reading comprehension activities

In this resource activities linked to different reading comprehension strategies are provided to help your class explore the poems and stories in more detail. Graphic organisers are also provided to structure pupils' written responses.

Readers' Theatre

Readers' Theatre is a presentation of text read aloud by two or more readers. Follow the steps outlined in this report to bring the poems and stories off the page.

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With thanks to our partners at the Commonwealth Education Trust who originally produced and published these anthologies and resources.

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