Andrew Wright

These notes were produced for teachers attending a workshop with me.  Please see my website for more details of my courses for teachers see:


Young children
· By young children I mean aged between 5 and 10 and within the first two years of English.
· Children come to us with a love for stories and with considerable knowledge of stories and how stories are constructed. But their command of English is very limited.

· By ‘stories’ I mean: traditional stories, local legends, contemporary children’s fiction, personal anecdotes, stories made by the children.

Responding to stories and making stories
There are two broad ways of working with stories: the children responding to stories or the children making stories.

Benefits of responding to stories
· motivation
· listening fluency
· wide number of associated activities
· cross curricular links

Benefits of making stories
· motivation and sense of achievement
· English as a second language not FL
· spoken fluency
· communication, publishing, performance
· parents and community

Responding to stories
Sources of the stories:
· Storytelling with Children OUP
· OUP readers
· International folk and fairy stories
· National stories                                                                                            . Personal stories

Choosing and preparing
· Interest: yours and theirs
· Values acceptable to you
· Likely to understand enough (not: ‘Do they know all the words?’)
· Decide which key words the children don’t know and whether to teach them before the story or during the story.
· Decide on before/during/after activities

Before activities
· Story bag, coat, etc. (create readiness)
· Chdn make pictures of key elements (create readiness and teach new words)
· Chdn mime key elements
· Show the book
· Questions on the subject of the story

During activities
· Listen and enjoy
· Listen and mime
· Listen and point to pictures
· Questions during the story re feelings or what might happen next

After activities
· Nothing
· Mime the story or bits of it
· Make a big picture book
· You tell it with mistakes…they correct you
· Key sentences on strips: sequence (if written texts)
· Questions on the content

My two books on stories in language teaching are both published by Oxford University Press:
Storytelling with Children
(Helping children to respond to stories)
Creating Stories with Children
(Helping children to make stories)

I have also written a series of six story books for children at three levels.
The series is called: Spellbinders
Also published by Oxford University Press

Would you like to improve your storytelling?

If you are interested in Craft of Storytelling workshops then please contact Andrew and give him your name, address, telephone number and email:
International Languages Institute, Korosfoi utca 2, Godollo, 2100 Hungary.


4 Responses to “Using Stories with Young Children”

  1. 1 SHANAR DUTTA GUPTA July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm


    • 2 Johanna March 25, 2014 at 3:33 am

      Hello!!! that’s an interesting blog, I’m doing a reasearch about how could influence storytelling in the behaviour of students in english classes. I will be seeing this page frequently. Thank you for your ideas in the book “storytelling with children”.

  2. 3 hot flirt July 26, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Hi this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
    you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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