Li’l Stories is a student-centered framework for the elementary classroom that leverages the power of storytelling to foster learning. With a set of easy-to-navigate tools, Li’l Stories guides students through the process of creating and sharing visual, oral, and written narratives about academic content. Along the way, students learn to think critically and creatively, communicate their ideas, collaborate with peers, solve problems, and navigate digital resources.

Easy curriculum integration

The Li’l Stories model is flexible and easy to integrate into any unit of study, working equally well as an entry point into new material, as a formative activity, or as a culminating project. Activities can have a variety of outcomes, from oral presentations, written narratives, and puppet shows, to story videos and stop-motion animations. Li’l Stories helps teachers reinforce classroom topics and reach multiple intelligences. Rooted in play-based learning theory, Li’l Stories makes learning fun, collaborative, and student-centered. Allowing children to learn through storytelling not only taps into their intuitive approach to learning, but allows them to construct the personal and meaningful narratives that make learning relevant and lasting.

Target Skill areas

pre-writing and Writing

listening and oral language

Cooperative Learning and creative thinking

digital literacy

What teachers are saying about Li’l Stories


“My students love creating stories, drawing and telling them. They are engaged and don’t even realize they are learning.”
—KELLY, 1st grade teacher, PS 3

Creative Thinking

“It helps students find their voice. They are working on how stories are put together. It helps them organize their thinking.”
—MAGNUS2nd and 3rd grade teacher, PS 3

Oral Language

“Telling stories helps kids overcome their shyness. They can use the visuals on the storyboard as talking points.”
—CHARLY, 2nd and 3rd grade teacher, PS 3

Benefits of Storytelling

Storytelling is universal. Regardless of age, culture, language, or ability, stories provide us with a creative and collaborative way to make sense of the world. Using storytelling as a framework for teaching and learning creates many benefits and opportunities for students and teachers:

Student-centered Learning

By building narratives around academic content, students deepen their learning and make the ideas their own. Getting to play with content in this manner helps students make personal connections to new material, leading to greater transference of knowledge and skills to new contexts.

Encourages Creativity

Storytelling encourages students to think creatively about academic content and contribute new ideas to the learning process. With enough practice, innovative thinking becomes the mindset with which students approach all learning and problem-solving.

Encourages Critical Thinking

The storyboarding process teaches students to organize their ideas in logical structures. In using academic content as the building blocks for creative narratives, students analyze and break apart new material into digestible components, then rebuild knowledge in ways that feel logical and personally relevant.

Builds Communication Skills

Storytelling allows students to express their ideas about academic content in creative ways. The story creation process invites students to contribute ideas and provides tools for organizing their thinking. The storytelling process helps students build oral presentation skills while also teaching active listening through peer feedback. Students can also build digital literacy skills by creating and sharing stories through the Li’l Stories App or programs like iMovie.

Makes Learning Collaborative

The Li’l Stories process is collaborative by design. By building collective narratives in pairs or small groups, students develop communication skills, navigate conflict, and learn how to combine and build on one another’s ideas. When students share their stories, they learn to give and receive critical feedback.

Engages All Learners

Storytelling creates more entry points into academic content by reaching multiple intelligences. The Li’l Stories story creation process involves listening, watching, reading, discussion, drawing, organizing, writing, and oral presentation, engaging nearly every learning style and making content accessible to English Language Learners as well as learners with special needs.

Getting Started

Li’l Stories is a natural fit for the classroom, designed to work with most curriculum units or to function as a standalone storytelling unit. Download our free toolkit for educators or try one of our project plans to get started.

Li’l Stories Toolkit

Ready to get started? Our Li’l Stories Toolkit for Educators includes everything you need to bring Li’l Stories to your classroom: Introduction to Li’l Stories, teacher’s guide, strategy guides, storyboards, story cubes, and a unit planning tool. All you need is a printer, 11” by 17” sheets of paper and markers.

Li’l Stories Toolkit

Li’l Stories Labs

Interested in us telling stories with your class? Schedule a Li’l Stories Lab: students engage in the collaborative process of creating and sharing a narrative. Our Labs are tied into a classroom’s curriculum and can have a variety of outcomes.

Li’l Stories Labs

Li’l Stories Project Plans

One of the easiest ways to launch Li’l Stories in your classroom is by using one of our ready-made downloadable units. These storytelling units include 4-6 hours of Common Core-aligned content. While the subject matter varies, each unit guides students through storyboarding and storytelling activities, culminating in a final story product.

Li’l Stories Project Plans

Webinars and Workshops

Need more information? Check out our case study and webinar section in the Li’l Stories Resource Library. Or schedule a remote Li’l Stories for Educators Workshop for your school. Our professional development workshops introduce classroom teachers to the Li’l Stories framework and approach to learning.

Li’l Stories Resources