....for stacks of stories

Key Stage 1 RE

Friday 25 January 2019

RE ‘syllabuses’ vary enormously from one education authority to the next but there are some shared key areas and attainment targets.

What is special to me, my family, my community and others (stories, celebrations, values, places) are themes that have meaning for most children.

Bible storytelling with Storystack characters can be used to start a discussion about old and new testament characters (e.g. Moses, Abraham, Esther) as well as Jesus and his disciples, about festivals, celebrations and rites of passage (e.g. Passover, Christmas, Easter, baptism) and about values (e.g. the good Samaritan, Zaccheus).

Interactive storytelling – the stories can be varied, with the children taking responsibility for a character’s movements or speech or with whole group involvement in response to certain planned cues.

Storytelling can be followed by re-telling by the children in their own play time to encourage skills of listening, memory, sequencing, group play and communication.

Questioning can be encouraged after the telling of a story - suggesting that the children think of a question that they would like to ask one of the characters.

Craft can be based on a story – either making some scenery to enhance the storytelling or making a ‘Storystack’ figure of themselves from card and being in the crowd, involved in the story that way.

The example below shows the bible story from Luke’s gospel, chapter 10.

There are 5 characters in this story (the red numbers are the suggested Storystack character references):

Injured man (6), Priest (3), Levite (8), Samaritan (9), Inn Keeper (12) and it is helpful to have a donkey (picture or model) and a box to represent the inn.





The good Samaritan (Luke 10)


People often asked Jesus questions.  Sometimes they really wanted to hear his teaching and sometimes they wanted to try to trick him because they didn’t believe he was God’s son.

One day a religious teacher came to him and said, “What must I do if I want to live with God forever.  I know that the bible says I must love God and love neighbour as much as you love yourself.  But who is God telling me to love?  Who is my neighbour?”

Then Jesus told him this story.


A man was walking down a road on his own and some big, bad robbers jumped out at him.

“Help, help!” cried the man – but no-one heard him.  Those big, bad robbers hit the man and hurt him.  Then they took all his money and his clothes and ran away.  The poor man was left at the side of the road.


“Oh! Ooh!” groaned the man.  He couldn’t get up.  He lay there in the burning sun.  He couldn’t do anything except wait and hope for help. 



The next person to travel along the road was a priest who worked in the temple. The injured man heard the priest’s footsteps. Surely a priest would be kind and help the injured man? No, the priest had seen him lying there but he didn’t come to help. 


 Time passed.  Then he heard footsteps again.  Nearer and nearer the footsteps came.  This time the traveller was a Levite, another important temple worker. Surely he would be kind and help the injured man? No – the Levite had seen him lying there but he didn’t come to help.


The man was feeling worse and worse.


Someone else came along the road.  This was a man from another country, an enemy country called Samaria. Surely he would not be kind and help a man from Israel? The Israelites and the Samaritans did not like each other. But what a surprise! When the Samaritan traveller saw the man lying by the side of the road, he stopped and said, “You need help.” 


So he cleaned the injured man’s cuts and put on bandages.  Then he lifted him carefully on to his donkey.  A little way on they came to an inn. 


The Samaritan spoke to the inn-keeper:

“This poor man has been hurt by some robbers,” and he delayed his journey and stayed for a day to look after the man.

The next day, the Samaritan man said to the innkeeper: “Please can you take care of him until he is well?  Here’s some money for you. I hope it is enough. If it costs more, I will pay you when I come back.”



When Jesus had finished telling the story he turned and asked the religious teacher a question: “Which of those people showed love to the man who was hurt?”

 “The one who was kind and helped the man who was hurt,” the religious teacher answered. 

 “Then be like him,” said Jesus. 

 Jesus told this story to show the religious teacher what he was really like in his heart. 


 After telling the story (either yourself or with the help of 5 volunteers) you could ask the children some questions:

 ‘What question did the religious teacher ask Jesus?’/‘Why did Jesus tell this story?’

‘Why do you think the priest and the Levite walked past the injured man without stopping?’

‘What is amazing about what the man from Samaria did?’

‘Would you like to ask the Samaritan man a question?’

‘What can we learn from this story?’






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