Find out more

Talk Through Stories is for all children, but it is especially for children who do not come from a language rich home. It is designed to extend and deepen children's vocabulary so that they can understand the books they will soon be able to read for themselves. Time is not on their side. That is why it has been so important to plan specifically and systematically - step by step - to develop their vocabulary.

How Talk Through Stories works

In Story week, we help children to get to know the story really well: the plot, the characters, and their actions and motives.
In Vocabulary week, we explore eight words from the story.
These words have been specifically selected to develop children's understanding of each word in the context of their everyday lives.

How the stories were selected

We chose stories that we believe are worth reading and re-reading – stories that children will love. We began with old favourites that many teachers are likely to know, such as Dogger by Shirley Hughes, Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
We then moved on to more recent literature, such as Hugless Douglas by David Melling, Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival, I’m in Charge by Jeanne Willis, Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen, Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke.

The eight Vocabulary week words

The eight words selected for focus in each of the stories are what Isabel Beck, in Bringing words to life, has called ‘Tier 2’ words. These are words that children are unlikely to hear in everyday conversation but are likely to come across in stories. In I’m in charge by Jeanne Willis, for example, we chose:
bellowed startled barged sneaked grinned dreadful stomped refused

Story week and Vocabulary week

All you need is:
• your usual 20 minutes for Storytime
• a further, separate 10 minutes for Vocabulary time
And a bit of time to practise before each lesson! Let’s get children talking!

Free events

Check out our free “find out more” events in the Ruth Miskin Training website.

Setting up a new annual subscription

Schools with an annual subscription can access all the Talk Through Stories resources (this content is also available to Read Write Inc. schools in the Ruth Miskin Training Online Training Subscription).
Annual subscription: £300 + VAT for first year
Second year onwards: £150 + VAT

Discounted cost for small schools with 112 pupils enrolled or fewer:
Annual subscription: £200 + VAT for first year
Second year onwards: £100 + VAT

To sign up your school and to find out more please contact us on