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Learning through storytelling, creative writing and literature

Telling, reading and writing stories can help language learning and other areas of the curriculum come alive. Encouraging young people to read for pleasure will bring benefits that will last a lifetime.

We have gathered together a range of storytelling, literature and creative writing resources from our partner museums, galleries and art collections. Some of the resources are designed specifically for schools and teachers. Others are written for a general audience but could be used to provide ideas and contextual information for teaching, or might be useful for older students and lifelong learners.

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Bedtime Story

Bedtime Story 1992

Anita Klein (b.1960)

Leicestershire County Council Artworks Collection


Get creative with storytelling

Explore imaginative approaches to creating and writing stories and poems, and get crafty with making activities inspired by storytelling.

Stories and creative activities from Mythstories

Mythstories, the Museum of Myth and Fable, collects beautiful objects from around the world that can be used to tell stories, as well as commission new storytelling artworks.

Explore a wealth of stories, imaginative ideas for exploring stories and creative activities on the Mythstories website. There are resources for early years learners right up to 16+ students as well as activities for families to explore together.

Explore and enjoy Mythstories resources

Sita in the Forest

Sita in the Forest 1988

Dez Quarréll (b.1955)


British Library: Learning through children's books

From inventing your own superhero to making a pop-up book, the British Library has a wealth of fun and creative resources around children's books and storytelling.

Explore childrens' books activities

Stories from the Sea with Royal Museums Greenwich

Choose pirates, shipwrecks or exploration as the inspiration for a creative writing project with these activities for primary-age students.

Write a story inspired by the sea

National Museums Scotland: Museum stories with Chief Chebe

Watch Chief Chebe tell stories from Ghana through objects from the NMS collection and then download learning resources with related activity ideas. The resources are designed for primary-age students.

Explore museum stories with Chief Chebe

Design and Make your own story with the V&A

Use objects from around the home to help create your own story with this activity for families.

Make your own story activity

Tate Kids: create a surreal story

Use Surrealist artworks and imaginative words to create a surreal story.

Explore the activity

Dreaming Head

Dreaming Head 1938

John Armstrong (1893–1973)


Stone age storytelling with the Museum of London

Be inspired by stone age lives and explore the ancient craft of storytelling with this primary school resource from the Museum of London.

Download the resource

World Book Day activities from The Potteries Museum & Galleries

Have fun with a range of story-inspired making activities for children and explore story-themed trails of museum objects from The Potteries Museum & Galleries

Once Upon a Time resources

Art UK resource: Lewis Carroll's characters

Learn about the characters from Lewis Carroll's stories through sculpture and explore facial expression, pose and body language with drama activity suggestions. This lesson plan resource is designed for CfE Level 2/KS 2 students.

Explore Lewis Carroll's characters resource

The Tweedles

The Tweedles 2013

Simon Hedger

Haufre Gardens, Llandudno, Conwy

Literature resources

Discover great writing, from the Greeks to contemporary authors.


Ophelia 1851–2

John Everett Millais (1829–1896)


The British Library: discovering literature

Explore a range of resources for discovering literature from different periods – from medieval manuscripts to twentieth-century authors and playwrights.

Explore the British Library's literature and poetry resources

Ashmolean Museum Language and Literature resources

The Ashmolean Museum has a range of resources for teaching literature – from the Greek Classics to Shakespeare – to secondary students through museum objects and artworks as well as ideas for creative writing activities.

Resources for teaching language and literature

National Library of Scotland literature and language resources

Explore storytelling from fairy tales and folklore to science fiction, and learn about some of our most important authors including John Buchan and J. K. Rowling with resources for primary and secondary-age students.

Visit the NLS literature and language learning zone

A Fairy Tale

A Fairy Tale 1934 or before

Mark Lancelot Symons (1887–1935)

Newport Museum and Art Gallery

Literary lives

Learn about the lives that shaped some of our great writers.

Abbotsford the home of Sir Walter Scott

Bring Sir Walter Scott to life through objects from the museum collection with this teacher's pack which can be used to teach students of all ages.

Sir Walter Scott teaching resources 

Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) seated by the Clydeside

Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) seated by the Clydeside 1832

John Greenshields (1795–1835)

Abbotsford, The Home of Sir Walter Scott

Glasgow Womens' Library online exhibitions

Explore the lives of Scottish writers Naomi Mitchison, Janet Paisley and Agnes Owens through objects in the GWL. These resources would suit older students or life-long learners.

Naomi Mitchison

Janet Paisley

Agnes Owens

Lady Naomi Mitchison (1897–1999), Author

Lady Naomi Mitchison (1897–1999), Author 1974

Clifton Ernest Pugh (1924–1990)

National Galleries of Scotland

The art of bringing stories to life

In the final section of this Round-up, discover resources that explore book design and the artworks and illustrations that help us picture the characters in stories. Have a go at making a book, designing decorative page borders and creating your own storybook illustrations.


Explore book design with The William Morris Society

125 years ago William Morris's Kelmscott Press published The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, embodying William Morris's design ideals.

The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer

The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer 1896

William Morris (1834–1896)

William Morris Society

To celebrate this anniversary The William Morris Society invited contemporary letterpress printers and artists to reimagine an excerpt from Morris's Kelmscott Chaucer and have created some related activities for children.

Explore the reimagined designs of the Kelmscott Chaucer in this online exhibition

Download children's activity sheets inspired by William Morris's book design:

Make your own miniature paper book

Design your own decorative page borders

Create a William Morris-style tag for your book

Explore the art of Beatrix Potter with the V&A

Enjoy Beatrix Potter's drawings by browsing through some of her sketches from nature. Then have a go at designing and making a surreal creature inspired by Beatrix Potter's characters, with a 'design and make' activity for families. The activity could be easily adapted for use in the classroom.

Beatrix Potter: A life drawing nature 

Design and make a surreal critter

Discover the magic of artist-illustrator partnerships with the British Library

Watch Michael Rosen talk about the magic of the author-illustrator partnership, discover how writers and artists inspire each other, and team up to make your own picture books with this resource from The British Library.

You write, I'll draw

Sky in the Pie No. 2 (Mcgough)

Sky in the Pie No. 2 (Mcgough) 2004

Rhian Watkins (b.1981)

Southampton Solent University

Tate Kids: draw a fairy tale

Have a go at some imaginative approaches to creating fairy tale characters with this Tate Kids resource.

Draw a fairy Tale resource

The New Art Gallery Walsall: Meet illustrator Diana Ewen

Find out about the processes used by storybook illustrators and how they put pictures to words, with illustrator Diana Ewen. This resource may be useful for older students interested in book illustration as a career.

Meet illustrator Diana Ewen

Explore more artworks inspired by stories and storytelling on Art UK.

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More Art collections resources

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