Story Making


What is Story-Making?

The Storytelling and Story-Making approach involves:

* learning and repeating oral stories using actions and story maps as visual aids

* building the confidence to develop them through telling

* extending this development into writing

* creating 'new' stories orally as a preparation and rehearsal for writing.

The development of Story-Making is built through a 3-step sequence:

* Imitation: straight retelling of learned stories.

* Innovation: developing, extending and changing elements of a story.

* Invention: creating a 'new' story.


Why do we use Story-Making at school?

* Children build up a bank of story patterns that they can incorporate into their own writing (e.g. rags to riches, quest).

* They become familiar with lots of ‘story language’ (once upon a time, early one morning, suddenly, unfortunately etc) which they can use in their own writing.

* They become more confident speaking in front of the class and listening to others.

* Story-Making builds children’s confidence in themselves as writers. Learning and adapting a story they have been taught orally is a stepping stone on the way to inventing and writing their own stories.


How we teach a story

* The teacher introduces the story and the actions to the children and they are gradually encouraged to join in until they can tell the whole story independently.

* We spend a few days learning the story and playing games to help remember the actions.

* The children draw a story map and use this to help them tell the story in the right order and remember key words.

* We further explore the characters and plot of the story through dramas activities such as hot seating

* When the children are fully confident with the story orally we then ‘innovate it’ changing certain elements.

* They then write this innovated story – they are using the structure of the story that they have learned but using their own ideas.

* Once children have a bank of story structures that they are familiar with, they can confidently invent their own story.


How you can help your child at home

* Help your child to learn the story off by heart.

* Practice the story with the actions. Story-Making actions help the children to learn and remember the whole story by highlighting key

words and characters, repeated phrases, story language and connectives.

* Use the story maps sent home and on the website. Story maps provide a visual representation of the events in the story, include key words and connectives and help the children remember all the events in the right order.

* Encourage children to make up their own stories either orally or in writing.


Each term that Story-Making is taught, story scripts and story maps will be added to this page of the website to allow you to access resources to help at home. You will also find a description of the common Story-Making actions we use at Rowanfield Infant School. If you have any questions about how we teach Story-Making or how you can help your child learn a story then please speak to the class teacher or Miss Street the English Subject Leader.


Rowanfield Infant School - Storymaking Actions


Once upon a time

Closed hands, then open as a book.

Early one morning

Closed hands at side of head sleeping, open hand and lift over head as sunrise



Cross index fingers (add sign)



Roll hands



Hands out, palms touching each other.



Hands out, palms facing upwards.



As but, but shrugging shoulders, with sad face



Hands on chest, drop shoulders – phew!



Sewing action with needle and thread



Hands clasped together



Wipe hand across forehead and shake out (phew!)

After / after that

Palms facing each other, chopping

At that moment


Point index finger to imaginary watch

(same as ‘while / meanwhile’)



Link fingers

By the next morning

‘Next’ action,  then ‘early one morning’ action

In the end


Palms facing inwards, bring hands together

First/ at first


Point index finger



Index and middle finger



Index, middle and ring fingers



Point down aggressively

One day


Point index finger, open hands like a fan

Soon / as soon as

Brush one hand away from the other



Hands up level with head, fingers splayed

To his amazement

Cup hands under face



‘Weigh up’ arms



Index finger wagging



Two hands point down aggressively



Back of hand on forehead



Finger on side of mouth – look quizzical

While / Meanwhile

Point index finger to imaginary watch

(same as ‘at that moment’)



Hands making forward steps

A long time later


Pinch fingers, move across body



Move hands over each other (hand jive)  x2

Without warning


Hands over mouth

After a while


Point at imaginary watch, move up arm

In a flash


Flash fingers

It all began


Cross arms


Cup hands round face