Boardstories - Making Literacy Come Alive!

My Brother Bernadette

  • Boardstories are an innovative new way to engage young pupils' interest in reading. All of Onilo's Boardstories have been carefully selected in order to fit perfectly into the currciulum. As well as providing an ideal platform for guided reading and whole-class, shared reading, Onilo is also a great stimulus for writing and can be used as the basis for an exciting, 21st century literacy lesson. 

Teaching Fairytales with Onilo

Teach Fairytales with Princess Anna

  • Once children have mastered the basic features of a fairytale and are able to spot these in traditional fairytales, introduce them to Princess Anna or How to Find a Hero and Mr Wolf's Pancakes
  • Both of these stories offer alternative versions of traditional fairytales. Can pupils spot where they differ from traditional fairytales? Can they identify all of the fairytale characters in each story and explain where they come from? This would make a great plenary to a session dealing with the features of more traditional fairytales. 
  • Get pupils writing- can pupils create their own alternative version of a traditional fairytale? 

Non-Chronological Reports with Night Monkey, Day Monkey

Night Monkey Day Monkey

  • Read Night Monkey, Day Monkey with pupils and introduce the terms nocturnal and diurnal. 
  • Divide the class into small groups and assign them nocturnal or diurnal. Give pupils 5 minutes to write down as many examples of these animals from the story. Can pupils think of any examples which weren't included in the story?
  • Use this as a basis for pupils to create a non-chronological report on nocturnal or diurnal animals. Give pupils access to a range of different information texts, as well as an internet encyclopedia (try Britannica Kids) to complete their texts but also encourage them to use their existing knowledge. 

Teach Prediction With the Cliffhanger Function

The Little Pirate

  • Many of our Boardstories come with a cliffhanger version. This version stops at a key point in the story, allowing readers to predict what might happen next.
  • Discuss the story with pupils: who are the main characters? Where is the story set? What is the problem in the story?
  • After reading the beginning of the story as a class, encourage pupils, using their knowledge how of a story is structured, to write their own ending to the story. How could the problem be resolved? 
  • As a plenary, you could read the end of the story. How does this compare with their versions of the story?

Teaching Speech Punctuation

  • Use the hide text function on the Boardstory Player to remove the text.
  • Encourage pupils to think about what the characters might be saying at a particular point in a story and write this down on their whiteboards.
  • This is an excellent Assessment for Learning (AFL) tool to identify whether students are able to use speech punctuation correctly. 

Role-play and Drama Ideas

  • Use the pause function to stop the story at different points and encourage pupils to act out what they think might happen next.
  • Pause the story at a particular point and ask pupils to pull an expression to show how a key character is feeling.
  • Use the hide text function and ask pupils to act out what they think the characters might be saying at this point in the story.
  • Use the conscience alley drama technique to explore a dilemma faced by a key character in the story. 
The Things We Know


When you register for the first time with Onilo, you can try two Boardstories, absolutely free of charge, for two whole months!