Language Arts / English


Language Arts / English

Creative Writing, Story Elements


Listening, Rigour, Excellence

Global Goal


Communication, Collaboration

Age Group

9-10 years / Grade 4

Learning Standards

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. (McREL standard W.4.3)




This is an inspiring story of children reaching out to their grandparents through storytelling. Loneliness amongst senior citizens is a pervasive malaise. To combat this, children from Satya Bharti School in Rajasthan,  India decided to regularly meet with their grandparents, listen to their stories and note them down. They would then come back to school and share these stories with their classmates. The storytelling sessions reinvigorated the elders in the community and they became more involved in the school, finding meaning in sharing their stories. From the collection, the students set up a small library of stories to share with all.

Lesson Plan

  • Discuss a way forward to replicate the idea in your classroom. You can try to lead students into discussing the idea of listening. The teacher can demonstrate what it is like to listen with all the senses versus not paying attention; hearing versus listening. TIP: For example, right body language, eye contact
  • Students can be paired up and asked to share with each other the experiences they have had with grandparents or any elderly person in the community. The students can be mindful during this exchange that they are listening with all senses.
  • The students can then go and listen to stories of their grandparents or anybody else in the community whom they feel like reaching out to. For instance, students of Kaligi Ranganathan School in Tamil Nadu took the initiative to listen to the support staff in their school, while students in Bright Day School in Gujarat re-connected with their parents.
  • The teacher can have a session about Story Elements and students can write their drafts for the stories.
  • Students can share the stories in groups OR Pair Share (Thinking Routine). Constructive feedback can be encouraged – Teacher can discuss the guidelines / pointers to be kept in mind while giving and receiving feedback.
  • The teacher can take a session about the relevance of having characterization, plot and robust vocabulary. She can do so by comparing two different stories, one with and one without such elements and having a discussion.
  • Students can re-draft their stories keeping in mind these learnings and applying their understanding of story elements.
  • And of course, nothing is of value unless shared! Students can be encouraged to think of ways to share their stories with a wider audience – school community, parents or grandparents or other school students – by creating a story library or books or a storytelling session. This cultivates a spirit of abundance, inspires others and develops their confidence.