12 Ways You Should Be Using Story Box Library In Your School
Story Box Library is a versatile resource that can be used by all year levels and in various situations around the school.
1. DURING GROUP STORYTIME
Story Box Library is an AUSTRALIAN resource. The stories selected for our library are all created by Australian or New Zealand authors and illustrators, which means, when viewing them, children are exposed to language and content that relates to their own daily lives. Children are exposed to a wide range of storytellers (beyond their parents and teachers), all with different backgrounds, voices and storytelling techniques. Each set of Classroom Ideas provides engaging discussion questions and activities to further explore the themes.
For some entertaining stories (and incredible storytelling), try What’s Wrong with the Wobbegong?, Little Lunch, Pig the Pug, Macca the Alpaca, Rodney Loses It!, Once Tashi Met a Dragon, The Brothers Quibble, The Queen with a Wobbly Bottom or Yak and Gnu.
2. DURING PLANNED LITERACY SESSIONS
Students can independently access our stories for Viewing and Listening Posts that might make up the structure of your Literacy Block. The QR codes on our Classroom Ideas PDFs and our Play Queue feature allow teachers to direct students to specific stories if preferred. It is also important to note that students will be able to safely navigate our site without encountering advertising or inappropriate content.
Some of our favourite stories for independent viewing and listening for younger children include Bear Make Den, I Got This Hat, I’m a Dirty Dinosaur, What’s Up Top?, Kick with My Left Foot and Mopoke.
3. USING OUR STORIES AS MENTOR TEXTS
SBL is the perfect resource for modelling specific text structures and language devices because the big screen allows details to be easily seen and discussed in class or group settings. The media format of SBL also makes it easy for teachers to pause and replay parts of the story that they or students wish to highlight for discussion.
For some wonderful and unique examples of text structure and language devices, we recommend Fox, The Patchwork Bike, My Two Blankets, The House on the Mountain, The Last Peach, Once a Shepherd, The Duck and the Darklings, Anzac Biscuits.
4. FOR LESSONS IN LEARNING AREAS OTHER THAN ENGLISH
In addition to the themes presented in the book, Classroom Ideas are prepared for each story in our library, helping students meet learning outcomes across most of the Australian Curriculum learning areas.
For books covering mathematical concepts, we recommend Our Last Trip to the Market, Too Many Elephants in This House, How Big is Too Small?, Hickory Dickory Dash, Silver Buttons and The Great Rabbit Chase.
For stories to support Humanities and Social Sciences themes, many of which are aimed at Upper Primary, we recommend I Was Only Nineteen, One Minute’s Silence, Anzac Ted, Greetings from Sandy Beach, Beth: The Story of a Child Convict, Lizzie Nonsense, Tea and Sugar Christmas, All Through the Year, The Treasure Box, Suri’s Wall, A River, Feather, Ayu and the Perfect Moon, One Step at a Time and The House on the Mountain.
For use in The Arts classroom, we recommend Danny Blue’s Really Excellent Dream, Meerkat Choir, Gezani and the Tricky Baboon, Steve Goes to Carnival, Herman and Rosie, Shake a Leg, The Super Moopers: Dramatic Domor watch any of our short films to embark on an illustrator study.
Even Health and Physical Education teachers need a good story to share with the kids. Try Kick with My Left Foot, A Walk in the Bush, Little Piggy’s Got No Moves, Why I Love Footy, Cowzat, Slow Down World, Maxx Rumble: Footy and Sporty Kids
5. AS A RESOURCE FOR YOUR STEM PROGRAM
Stories provide great inspiration for Makerspace projects or STEM-focused activities because they can pose questions, plant ideas, invite exploration, or students might be even feel compelled to test a theory or event presented in the story. They also allow students a creative and investigative way to connect to the story by viewing a story before setting a related STEM-based task or by displaying a device (set to one of our stories) alongside materials in a Makerspace environment; thereby creating an open-ended invitation or challenge to students.
Some recommended books for use in a Makerspace include Brobot,, A House of Her Own, Blue, the Builder’s Dog, Wendy, My Dead Bunny, The Windy Farm, The Patchwork Bike, Sticks and Stones: Animal Homes, Queen Alice’s Palaces and Owl Know How.
6. AS A RESOURCE FOR YOUR STUDENT WELLBEING PROGRAM
There are many stories in our library that model positive friendships and promote health and wellbeing. Whether you’re a Kidsmatter, Better Buddies or Resilience Project school, these stories will no doubt complement the health and wellbeing or peer support program in your school.
To support concepts of friendship, community and healthy activity, try This Girl, That Girl, I Just Ate My Friend, Bird and Bear,Maudie and Bear, Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee!, Banjo and Ruby Red, The Ricker Racker Club, Molly & Mae, Archie and the Bear, Once There Was a Boy, The Ghost of Annabel Spoon, The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog, Macca the Alpaca, Too Much for Turtle, Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade and, of course, Mr Huff.
7. TO ASSIST IN CELEBRATING NATIONAL LITERACY EVENTS
You can take part in Australia’s biggest literacy events with a Story Box Library subscription. We love to work in partnership with organisations to provide access to stories for events such as World Read Aloud Day, National Ride to School Day, National Simultaneous Storytime and The Reading Hour.
Choose any of our stories to take part in World Read Aloud Day or The Reading Hour or simply use our search bar or theme filter to find selected books for National Simultaneous Storytime and CBCA Book Week.
8. TO INSPIRE YOUR STUDENTS
Our short films can provide creative inspiration or they can provide further insight into the training, history, research and inspiration behind the work and minds of Australia’s best authors and illustrators.
We think our short films also encourage children to get behind the camera too. Using our stories as examples can to help them rehearse, record and edit their own storytelling segments, or they might feel compelled to create their own animation after viewing our song and film clip.
9. AS A LEARNING SUPPORT TOOL
Teachers and students can choose to turn our closed captions by selecting the CC button on each video.There are educational benefits of using closed captions for students who are hearing impaired, speak English as an additional language, have been diagnosed with learning or reading difficulties, are on the Autism Spectrum, or might otherwise be disengaged from books and stories.
All our stories have a closed caption option but stories in our library with minimal, repeated or rhyming text include Bear Make Den, I Got This Hat, I’m a Dirty Dinosaur, What’s Up Top?, Mopoke, My Dog Bigsy and Kick with My Left Foot.
We also include longer texts in our library. Turning on closed captions allows students to be supported and engage with longer stories that they may otherwise not be able to read independently. Some of these stories include 4F for Freaks, Don’t Look Now, The Tinkler’s Three, Bugalugs Bum Thief, The Littlest Pirate, Henrietta, Mr Badger and Little Lunch.
10. FOR USE AT HOME BY YOUR SCHOOL FAMILIES
Encourage reading at home: Story Box Library is more than just a digital product. Our ACTIVITY TIME resources help children to engage with the stories after viewing through play and art. They also give parents further ideas on how to help children connect to stories, thus later developing their ability to comprehend stories and apply their understanding to their own life.
So send home a notice with log in details to your parents along with hard-copies or links to our Activity Time resources.
11. FOR ENTERTAINMENT DURING LUNCH TIME OR WET WEATHER LUNCH DAYS
Watching our stories is just a wholesome way to spend your time if you’re stuck in the classroom during lunch time. Don’t forget that our Classroom Ideas and Activity Time PDFs will give your students some hands-on activity ideas for after viewing.
12. AS A FUNDRAISER OR SCHOOL- BASED LITERACY EVENT
Host a movie marathon or children’s film festival at your school (during a lunch hour or an afternoon). Try setting up a hall or recreational room like a cinema. Provide popcorn and entry tickets and screen a selection of stories. You could even ask for a gold-coin donation and run this event as a fundraiser.