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Fireside stories

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Read aloud a wonderful tale for a winter’s eve

Illustration from Fireside Stories (Barefoot Books)

Don’t forget to download the Interactive resource, ‘The Winter Cabin’ – an interactive ‘book’ featuring the story ‘The Winter Cabin – a Story for the First Snowfall’. This story appears in Fireside Stories: Tales for a Winter’s Eve by Caitlín Matthews and Helen Cann (Barefoot Books, HB £14.99).

Fireside Stories (Barefoot Books)

As winter’s icy blanket begins to wrap itself around us, we seek the warmth of shelter and the comfort of togetherness. And, your classroom can provide both. The winter season is the perfect time of year to come together as a class and experience the comfort of storytelling with the cold, misty mornings or long, dark afternoons creating a perfect back drop for telling winter-themed stories. Different countries and cultures around the world have their own traditional winter stories that evoke the season’s character – often passed on from one generation to the next by the comfort and warmth of the fireside. Surrounded by the cosiness of your own classroom, telling a story such as ‘The Winter Cabin – a Story for the First Snowfall’ (from a collection of stories in Fireside Stories: Tales for a Winter’s Eve by Caitlín Matthews and Helen Cann – Barefoot Books, HB £14.99), will capture the harsh, barren reality of winter in a fictional context. The story relays how, as the first snow falls, a group of brave Russian animals guard their winter cabin against a ravenous wolf. Read it together as a class using the interactive version of the story.

(Note: It is recommended that you read the story to check suitability of language and subject matter before you read it together as a class.)

The story

Today, many people who live in the developed world do not experience the cycle of the seasons in the same way that their grandparents did. However, for people in rural communities, it was and still is common practice to slaughter domestic animals at the end of the autumn, partly because it is expensive to feed and shelter livestock during the cold winter months, and partly because their meat is needed as food.

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