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Stories for nature with Piers Torday

To celebrate Earth Week 2023 we are delighted to welcome Piers Torday to talk about how to write stories for nature. Piers is a best-selling children’s author, renowned for this Last Wild trilogy.

In this live lesson, classes will learn about the power of storytelling to inspire action to protect nature and biodiversity. We will focus on how animal characters in stories can make issues facing nature feel more real. This involves finding out how an author researches animals and then translates this research into an animal character’s voice and description.

The live lesson will end with a challenge set by Piers to create a short story based on a conversation between two animals. Classes will also be able to pose questions to Piers about his work, books, and love for the natural world.

The lesson is designed for an upper KS2 class (ages 9-11), and teachers of lower KS2 and KS3 classes are welcome to join the class if they think that the content will be fun and relevant for their classes.

Broadcast on Wed 19 Apr 2023
  • 45 mins
  • UKS2 / Ages 9-11
Learning objectives
  • Discuss the power of stories to engage people with nature
  • Apply knowledge of animals and their characteristics to creative outputs
  • Develop the use of voice and description to create compelling characters

This is a standalone lesson to celebrate Earth Week 2023. No specific preparation is needed. However, teachers and students may wish to (re)read some of Piers’s books.

Student sheets to support the live lesson will be available for download by Monday 17 April. These will include a student sheet for developing voice and description for animal characters, as well as a writing frame and guidance for the short story challenge.

If you have never joined a live lesson before, visit the support centre, where you can find a range of technical and educational information.

Questions generated by your class can be submitted via the interaction app that will appear on this lesson page once you have booked the lesson.

Lesson steps

1. Introduction (5 minutes)

We welcome Piers and classes to the live lesson and hear about his work and life as a children’s author.

2. Why do we need stories? (5 minutes)

We examine the power of stories to persuade and some of the ways that we can include animals in these stories.

3. Creating compelling animal characters (15 mins)

In this section of the live lesson, classes will work with Piers to develop their skills in getting creative with animal characters. Using three examples – pigeon, stag, and cockroach – Piers will guide students through the stages of research, voice, and description.

4. Storytelling challenge (5 mins)

For Earth Week 2023, Piers will challenge students to create a short story based around a conversation between two animal characters.

5. Q&A (15 minutes)

This is a chance for children to ask Piers any questions they might have about his work, books, and love of the natural world.


Piers torday SPEAKER

Piers Torday

Children's author

Teach the goals