Here you can find a wide range of ideas for using stories and poems in your secondary classroom. All of the materials are based on authentic texts or stories written especially for secondary learners and are designed to engage and motivate teenagers as well as develop their understanding of important themes and encourage personal, social and emotional development. Written by young learner experts from around the world, our ideas for using stories and poems are easy to use and aim to give your students the skills and confidence they need to enjoy learning English.

Choose a story or poem

Slog's Dad

One bright spring morning Slog sees his dad across the square. Nothing unusual about that, you might think, unless you knew that Slog's dad had died some time before. So who, or what did Slog really see?

Ex-footballer

The Ex-footballer

The Ex-footballer is a short story written by Sevim Ak, a popular Turkish writer of novels and short stories for children.

The story tells about a boy who rips his new football shirt while playing football. The boy walks into a repair shop to have it mended. The man who repairs it turns out to be a professional ex-footballer. But who is he exactly? Why is he now repairing clothes for a living? Read the story to find out the answers.

At the Marketplace

At the Marketplace is a short story written by Sevim Ak, a popular Turkish writer of novels and short stories for children.

Set in an unknown Turkish city, the story tells about a boy who picks up his camera and goes to the market place in his neighbourhood, hoping to take some interesting pictures. He talks to the people and listens to their life stories but can he take any pictures? Read the story and find out how he ends up taking photos of baby ducks instead.

Stories for Schools: Sewing Day by Sevim Ak

Stories for Schools is a British Council Turkey project to provide students with high-quality English language short stories.

Sewing Day is a short story written by Sevim Ak, a popular Turkish writer of novels and short stories for children.

Set in an unknown Turkish city, the story tells about a girl encounters the mysterious world of adults during a normal day at the hairdresser’s. Read from a child’s perspective how a single letter changes the lives of everyone in the story. 

Stories for Schools: The Long Journey Home by Sophie Smiley

Stories for Schools is a British Council Turkey project to provide students with high-quality English language short stories.

The Long Journey Home is a short story written by Sophie Smiley, a UK teacher and writer of storybooks for children.

Set in Istanbul, this is a thrilling adventure story about a football-mad boy who gets caught up with a gang of criminals. How can Mehmet’s football skills help him beat a man with a gun?

Stories for Schools: The Guitar by Sevim Ak

Stories for Schools is a British Council Turkey project to provide students with high-quality English language short stories

The Guitar is a short story written by Sevim Ak, a popular Turkish writer of novels and short stories for children.

Set in an unknown Turkish city, the story tells about a boy whose dream is to be a great guitarist. The only problem is that he can’t play…or can he? Read about how one day in the park everything suddenly goes right for Alper.        

The High Master and Little Billy Clough

The High Master and Little Billy Clough is a humorous short story written by John Waddington-Feather (born 1933), a British author who belongs to the West Yorkshire 'school' of writers.

Research and insight

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