More Bible Storybags

Reflective storytelling for primary RE and assemblies

Margaret Cooling

Currently out of print £12.99


Following the success of Bible Storybags, this second volume draws once again on tried-and-tested storytelling styles to encourage creative thinking and reflective response. The material, which gives particular emphasis to the 'learning from religion' aspect of RE, comprises 16 units covering key stories from creation through Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Ruth to David, Solomon, Jonah, Daniel and Esther.

The scripts can be used in faith-based schools and community schools. The material was originally designed for RE but is equally effective for presenting stories in classroom assemblies.

The storytelling uses methods designed to stimulate both thinking and feeling, the creative and the cognitive. The material comes complete with introductory information for the teacher, including suggestions for running a session, ideas for using the scripts for thinking skills in RE across the age groups, a bank of generic follow-up ideas that can be used with any session, and full instructions for making the bags and gathering together the contents.

Each unit includes:

  • Ideas for using the material in assembly including a reflection and optional prayer
  • Ideas for using the material in RE including a retelling of the biblical story, a wide selection of follow-up activities and comprehensive background information for the teacher
  • Two story scripts: one for younger pupils (4-7s) and one for older pupils (7-11s)

Ideal for Key Stage 1-2 / P1-7

Please note: Storybag and Storysack are registered trademarks of Storysack Ltd. The term Storybag is used in this book under licence and may not be applied in any other context without prior written authorisation from the trademark holder.

Foreword by Alison Brown, Deputy Director of Education and Schools Adviser, Diocese of Derby:

Good stories have layers of meaning that reveal themselves sometimes over a long period of time. This is especially true of Bible stories. For those getting to know the stories for the first time, help is needed to peel back the layers. As someone who has read stories from the Bible for my own benefit as well as in my role as educator for many years, I know that these stories have new treasures to be unearthed with each reading. I also admit to my ability to become immune to or blas about the new treasures in stories. I can trick myself into thinking I know them fully. For this reason, I am indebted to Margaret Cooling who, over the years, has kept on producing resources for teachers to help children explore Bible stories.

More Bible Storybags offers a multifaceted approach that helps both children and their teachers to get to know many Old Testament Bible stories well. Indeed, its elder sibling, Bible Storybags, was eagerly bought by many of the schools I work with. This has resulted in pupils engaging with Bible stories from the New Testament in thoughtful, imaginative and creative ways. It has also involved members of some school communities getting their knitting needles out! Thereby a real enjoyment and ownership of the stories has been shared beyond the school gate.

Often, teachers lack confidence in teaching about Christianity within RE, and the more support they can get, the better. More Bible Storybags gives ample information to help teachers feel confident in tackling a range of stories and unpacking their meanings in such an open, non-prescriptive way that the learning from the stories is entirely appropriate to the age and ability of each child. It provides tools to help children understand, play with and respond to the treasures and challenges contained within the Old Testament.

Although the stories have been written as scripts, they still contain the mystery, beauty and symbolism found in the original stories. Children are encouraged to bring all their natural intuition and curiosity to their encounter with them.

This book is a gem and I am happy to commend it.

Download powerpoint presentations accompanying the stories in More Bible Storybags to use in assemblies and in the classroom

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Author info

Margaret Cooling is the author of over 40 books on RE and assemblies and four books for churches. For many years, her speciality has been using the arts to communicate Christianity within the field of education. She has worked with a number of publishers on this including the National Gallery Company and the BBC. In the past few years, Margaret has begun to adapt her experience and knowledge within the field of education to work with churches.


From REtoday - Spring 2013

This book, as the title suggests, is a companion volume to Bible Storybags, also by Margaret Cooling. It comprises reflective storytelling ideas, suitable for primary age children, which can be used in either RE or class collective worship.

More Bible Storybags has a particular focus on learning from religion and contains 16 units covering key stories from The Old Testament, such as Creation, Moses, David, Jonah and Esther. Each unit contains two scripts, differentiated for younger pupils (4-7 year olds) and older pupils (7-11 year olds).

Here the busy teacher will find ideas for using the material which includes a retelling of the biblical story, together with a range of follow-up activities as well as useful background information. For example, there are tips on ways of telling the story, patterns to make the knitted characters in the stories, instructions as to how to make the storybags as well as useful websites. The book also includes appropriate questions to stimulate discussion and thinking skills around the stories, such as 'What is puzzling or surprising?'

There are prescriptive 'stage directions' and manual actions to accompany each biblical story. However, the resourceful teacher will use these frameworks as a tool on which to build their own creative ideas. Practical advice includes suggestions for colours for the respective storybags, such as a brick-coloured bag for the story of Joshua and a velvet or rich-looking bag for the King Solomon narrative.

I would recommend this book for the primary classroom. It contains a wealth of creative ideas to support storytelling in RE from the Judaeo- Christian tradition.

Reviewed by Lizzie McWhirter

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841018362
  • Published: 23 March 2012
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 120
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