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Story Writing Skills: Lesson Plan


"Do stories! Go bananas!" Emma created this lesson plan to encourage everyone to explore story writing with their students.




Key Stage 1/2


Story writing skills


Handle this lesson as the first of a sequence lessons based on the story or a stand-alone session


To identify the key elements of what makes a story – in simple terms relating to character, setting and plot
To evaluate a completed project


I can identify what makes a good story
I can create a representation of my ideas
I can evaluate a story


LISTEN UP! Read or tell the children a favourite story – this can be one that you know the children like or that you enjoy telling, what really counts is that it is told with energy and enthusiasm, so that it conveys what that it is a good story (sell it as a GREAT story). Go straight through it without stopping for questions or comments, and just revel in it. Once you’ve done that, go back through it and ask the children to suggest reasons why it is a good story – what makes it good? Many pupils can say they’ve enjoyed something or like ‘all of it’, but look for specifics and evidence if you can. Jot their ideas down on large paper or in a large sketchbook, so that you can refer to it in the lesson and in any later sessions.

Pair the children up (it’s easier in the long run if you do this rather than letting them do it), and allocate one of them as scribe. Ask them to GET THINKING about what makes any story a good one – if they were writing the ingredients for a story, what they include? Highlight what they liked about the story in LISTEN UP! and what we call those elements (characters, plot, setting etc.). Provide them with whiteboards or scrap paper to record their ideas (HINT: wait until after you give the instructions as some will be starting off before they really know what they’re doing or won’t be concentrating on you).

In regards to children who need extra support, keep them in a group with an adult leader to keep them focused, or preferably one adult. Ensure that the learning intention is clear and maintained.

Ask each pair to contribute one idea to a class ideas board – this can be a large sheet or the large sketchbook. You can either use one of the worksheets below as a template or draw one freehand. Making this a visual thing will help the children to retain the information for later sessions (and make it more fun too). One other alternative that I have done is to paint a story pot with the children in a separate lesson, and in this session, you add the ingredients with stickers or sticky notes.


  • Get a story ready that you know the children love or will love


  • Paper/sketchbooks/whiteboards for recording ideas
  • Pens, pencils 


This lesson can form the basis of its own sequence of lessons based on what constitutes a good story, as well as part of the larger unit on story-writing. For more ideas based on story-writing or stories and storytelling in general, please refer to my website.

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