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The Story of Things

The Story of Things takes an innovative approach to literacy by inviting pupils to imagine the secret histories of the objects around them and from the past.
Designed and led by Dr Chloe Wigston Smith in collaboration with Fairfax House Museum, the project has been piloted for close to 200 pupils in Years 4 and 5 in York, as well as home educators in the region. Activities can be adapted to cover history and civic heritage, or stand alone to support literacy instruction. 
Find out more about the project.

Teaching resources

Our free worksheets are available to all, and include activities ranging from 10 to 45 minutes that can be applied directly in the classroom. They have been tried and tested, and incorporate feedback from KS2 teachers at Knavesmire Primary School in York. Use our teaching resources

Contact us

If you have any questions, get in touch with Chloe at:

Why the Story of Things?

A film like Toy Story has captured the imagination of children for decades because it draws on the imaginative play and creative worlds that they are so adept at generating with their dolls, bears, and action figures. But did you know that telling tales about things has a much longer history? And that it influenced the very origins of children's literature?

The Story of Things takes children back to the lively world of Georgian writing, where a new kind of fiction - the it-narrative - transformed inanimate things into speaking heroes and heroines.