Simple Ideas to Celebrate National Storytelling Week 2024

We love to celebrate National Storytelling Week here at Sparks Film School.

Storytelling is such an integral part of filmmaking or video making. We love the opportunity to recognise storytelling in its own right and to explore storytelling with creative freedom!

What is National Storytelling Week?

In 2024, National Storytelling Week will take place from 27 January to 4 February.

In the words of the National Literacy Trust, “this fantastic annual event is a joyful celebration of the power of sharing stories. Stories teach us about the world, they allow us to step into someone else’s shoes and feel empathy, they help us to relax and escape and they can help develop essential literacy skills.”

At Sparks Film School, we see the ability to tell stories as a vital part of understanding who we are as humans. Stories help us to communicate with each other, to make meanings, to connect and to understand the world around us.

Around the UK, there are plenty of events and activities to get involved with to mark National Storytelling Week 2024, and here, we suggest some simple ideas to try out at home or at school, or in daily life. These activities to celebrate National Storytelling Week can work for storytellers of any age.

Simple Ideas for National Storytelling Week 2024

Some Simple Ideas to Celebrate National Storytelling Week

Describe Your Morning

Tell the story of your day so far, starting at the beginning. Describe all the little details; what did you have for your breakfast? How did it taste? What was the weather like? Try to ‘zoom in’ and add in some interesting details, or some unexpected challenges… Did you have to hunt high and low for a missing sock? Was there enough of your favourite cereals? Did you worry about being late?

For the ending, try to wrap up your challenges with triumph, with tragedy, or with a cliff hanger ending.

Tell a Silent Story

  1. Picture a scenic location, you can see from the distance
  2. Imagine a mysterious character arrives
  3. A second character arrives. They are in a hurry.
  4. Decide what happens next.

Imagine and describe your story choices, following the guide above. There is just one rule for the rest of this story: it happens in silence. Try to tell your story without any dialogue.

Tell a Family Story

Do you remember that time when…?

Think of a time when somebody you knew did something funny, or surprising, or incredible. Tell the story to yourself, or to a friend or a family member. What details do you remember?

You could event tell this as a story within a story. You can also share family stories as a group.

Tell a Story in Images

Visual storytelling is a huge part of filmmaking, so we always love to see stories told well using images.

See if you can come up with a simple story and tell it using a series of images.

You can draw/paint these images, take photographs, make collages, or event make a micro short film using moving images.

If you wanted to explore turning this into a more of a project, you could consider making a storyboard, a comic strip, a short animation or a short video.

Tell a Story in Sound

Sound and music can be another great way to tell a story, whether on its own, or as a part or a companion to a video/image project.

Come up with a simple story, featuring just one or two characters. Think about how you can tell the story just using different sounds. Think about whether to include different music, different sound effects, and whether to include narration.

Tell the Most Unbelievable Story

This one is all about exaggeration and telling a story that seems completely unbelievable.

To start, think up a simple story. It could start off being very realistic and believable, such as running late for school or work, or you can start with an incredibly outlandish story, such as an alien invasion or a time machine.

Next, think of each part of your story and stretch its credibility. Make each plot point more and more unbelievable and keep exaggerating. See if you can redraft your story and build it even more until it’s the most unbelievable version of your original story that you can tell.

With all these activities, you can write your stories down, or record them however you choose. We would love to see any films or videos made from your National Storytelling Week stories. You can share them with us using #sparksmoviemaking.

We hope you enjoy giving these activities a try. Good luck coming up with your incredible National Storytelling Week 2024 stories!

Crew members at Sparks Film School Hove

About Sparks Film School

Sparks is a youth film school for ages 5-18, with over 30 film school locations around the UK.

Through our fun, hands-on film and animation courses, we help young filmmakers to develop their skills, confidence and creativity.

We also offer programmes and workshops for groups, schools and community partners.

Find your nearest Sparks Film School >>

In 2024, we plan to offer more of our new animation and photography programmes at our different film school locations, as well as to introduce some new online film courses too. Stay up to date by signing up to our mailing list here >>

Want to know more? Take a look at the About Us section, or get in touch >>

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