Talking about stories

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Authored by

Jean Gross

Stella Jones, Director of Town End Associate Research School, suggests ways of developing empathy using structured questioning about stories.

In INSIDE: OUTSIDE, staff use the template to help children explore the feelings of a specific character at a pivotal point. They are asked to consider what is happening beneath the surface (thoughts and feelings) based on observable behaviours (actions and interactions).

In THIS PATH: THAT PATH’ children explore a dilemma in the text to scrutinise and evaluate a character’s decision. They imagine how the outcomes could be different for the character and those around them if another path had been chosen.

The Education Endowment Foundation also suggest the following questions:

What do you think the characters are feeling?

How would you solve the problem?

Can you use words from the story to explain how you feel when you...?

How can you tell they are feeling this way?

What could we do differently if this happens in our classroom?