Three piglets in a pen
Video, 7 mins

Telling Stories with Young Children

The importance of storytelling in language development

Storytelling enables young children to develop a love of stories and language, and to be better equipped for reading and talking.

In this series of short films aimed at parents of young children, Professor Cathy Nutbrown considers the importance of storytelling, anywhere and everywhere. Through conversations with actors, practitioners and parents, Dr Nutbrown examines storytelling techniques, the role of stories in cultural identity, and how storytelling can be used to support children's learning.

Sheffield research into parents’ roles in supporting their children’s early literacy underpins this event.

A leaflet for parents that offers suggestions about telling stories with young children is available to download below:


A version in Urdu is available to download below:


The Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs (watch at the top of the page) features the well known story, through live action and puppetry. Actor Susan Cookson plays Silvee Starr who comes across Fliss who is watching some piglets on a farm, so Silvee begins the story. This is a film for parents to watch together with their young children.

The art of storytelling

Professor Cathy Nutbrown talks with actor Susan Cookson about the importance of storytelling, voice, characterisation, and the fun of telling stories anywhere and everywhere.

Culture and language in storytelling

Two practitioners talk about the importance of families’ home languages and cultural heritages in storytelling as a way of developing all children’s languages and enhancing their personal and cultural identities.

The real and the imagined in storytelling

Parent Nadia talks about how she used life events to create stories, real and imagined, to support her children’s learning and confidence.



The Films

  • Susan Cookson, Actor
  • Adila Zareen, Practitioner
  • Nashaba Mahmood, Practitioner
  • Nadia, Parent

See also