Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

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Jess, the Curator's Story

Story and Character Activities

The following techniques can be used focusing on one or more of the characters or stories.

Sound effect stories

This will be noisy but fun! Read through and listen to or watch the stories. Now ask the children in groups to decide different techniques to create sounds that will recreate the story. They can experiment with what sounds can be made using any everyday objects and they can also use their own voices and/or instruments.

Each group will need to create a sound effect notation sheet which tells them what sounds to play at what stages during the narrative story.

Now ask each group to read out the story and use their own sound effects to create an immersive experience for the rest of the class.

You can take this activity one step further by giving the children simple sound recording equipment so they can gather and record the sounds they want to play whilst they are reading out the story.


Create your own audio book for family use

Individually, in pairs or small groups, ask the children to write their own versions of the stories and then get them to practice reading the stories out to one another. This will help them to adapt their ideas, get feedback on tone, expression, mood, atmosphere and presentation.

When they are practice-perfect, record each story.

Play the stories back to the whole group.

Don’t forget to send the sound files home so that children can play them to their families or send them as a gift to loved ones they don’t see very often.


Create a character celebration box

Discuss the characters in each of the stories. In pairs or small groups ask the children to list as many things they can think of that outlines that character’s strengths, ideas, activities, travels, interests, family life etc. The task is to collect objects, draw images, gather photos or anything else that represents that character. The items should be collected and displayed in a shoe box.

The shoe boxes can be displayed and children invited to talk through the contents exploring that character.


Beat the clock

This activity helps children to identify core storylines and then communicate these clearly and quickly. In pairs ask the children to discuss the story they have chosen, and identify what they think the main parts of the story are (beginning, middle, end).

Tell them that together they have 4 minutes to tell the story, with each of them getting 1 minute before swapping to allow their partner to continue. The aim of the game is to be able to tell the story, clearly and coherently, in the time they have been given. You can increase or reduce the amount of time given. 


Story box scenes

This activity helps children to immerse themselves in one important scene from a story and use their imagination to recreate that scene using craft materials. Select a story (perhaps one of the audio pieces or films) that you want to focus on. Ask your group to identify 5 key scenes/moments in the story (more or less is fine). Now split the group up into pairs and give each pair one of those scenes to recreate in a shoebox using images, paper-mâché, modelling, clay, collage or anything else to make it look amazing.

Once all pairs have finished you can place the boxes in sequence to tell the story through the boxes.

If you are working with a large group you can focus on a number of different stories.