Episode 1 Stolen Stories

Here’s the guidance and resource materials for teachers, librarians, parents and others who work with children for Episode One of The Story Thief Challenges

Story Re-cap questions for children:

  1. Do Aoife and Liam get along? Why not?
  2. What did Aoife and Liam feel after their father didn’t read them a bedtime story? Why did they feel like that?
  3. What did they ask author Nigel Quinlan? What was Nigel’s advice?
  4. What happens each time their father is about to tell them a story?
  5. What did their father’s note say? What do you think it meant?

Writing advice Re-cap questions for children:

  1. Where does Nigel Quinlan say stories come from?
  2. Why is thinking important for coming up with stories?
  3. What can help you not get distracted when you think of stories?
  4. What questions could you ask when you’ve found something to tell your story about?

Story Challenge:

‘I have a Story Challenge for you, to help you with your story thinking: Close your eyes, then open them and pick the first thing you see. Or open a dictionary and choose the first word your finger points to. Or ask a friend or family member what they’re thinking about right now.

Now that you’ve picked something, think about how you would use it to make a story. It can be serious or silly, long or short – any kind of story you like. Ask questions in your mind. What? Why? Where? What if…? What would happen if…?

Now write down your story, or tell it to someone.’

How to do the challenge with an individual child?

This specific challenge suits individual work perfectly. Allow the child to undertake this challenge themselves and then let tell you the story or read it to you. Let them choose what they object they build their story around. There’s no right answer so any story they come up with is to be celebrated.

How to do the challenge with a group of children?

This could be done individually by children in a classroom or other setting. Each child could then tell or read their story to the entire group if by those children comfortable with this.

Small groups could pick an item and think of a story about it and surprise each other with how different their stories are.

Children could be challenged to see how long it could quietly think about their item with you timing them and trying to get a record time.

All the completed stories could be put up on the wall together to show the sheer variety. Kids could do their story in comic book or poster form.

Variations on this challenge?

There are lots of different ways to pick the object of the story. You could pour out a random selection of objects to choose from. You could have the children look for something they’ve never noticed in a classroom or library setting. You could pick just one idea to demonstrate how many different stories can emerge from the same object. The only limit is your imagination.

Once the challenge is completed?

It will be a great motivation to the child or group of children if they know their finished work will get featured on the Story Thief Website so get in touch to arrange this.