Y3 Rocks and Soils: Teaching Through Stories 

We have worked with teacher Gemma Eden at Watercliffe Meadow Primary School to develop this resource to bring the Y3 Rocks and Soils curriculum to life.

Below, we’ve gathered everything you will need to take inspiration from the project we did in school and replicate it in your own classroom.  Full lesson plans are included, as well as links to further research and resources.

Storyteller Carmel Page wrote 5 brilliant stories linked both to this area of the science curriculum, as well as to the school’s location –  Shirecliffe in Sheffield.  Carmel was filmed telling the stories as a resource for teachers to use.

“Before working alongside Create Sheffield, I did not understand, nor did I see the benefit of using story to teach factual learning such as science. Now, not only are we planning in professional development for our staff on using stories across the curriculum, but I have also been in awe of how the children’s learning has been so concretely understood. The use of story has enabled them to retell and recall key information.”

Gemma Eden, Y3 teacher, Watercliffe Meadow Primary


This unit was originally a part of a Create Sheffield project.  The aim was to turn a limiting topic into something exciting, engaging and based in the local area. The components are based around 5 stories that make knowledge easier to recall and retell, as well as drawing on the local area and completing follow-up tasks to embed knowledge further.

The more the stories are repeated and retold, the easier the information is to recall.

National Curriculum extract:

  • Compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties.
  • Describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock.
  • Recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.

Take a look at Component 1.

Component 1: Fossil Formation and Mary Anning

Module Overview

Carmel Page telling the Mary Anning story

This is the first component in an exciting Rocks & Soils science topic aimed at Y3. The content is structured around ‘Fossil Formation & Mary Anning’, a story by local author Carmel Page. Through engagement, repetition and retelling, the story makes the learning elements easy to recall.

STEP ONE: Tell the story

STEP TWO: Work in the classroom

STEP THREE: Children’s response

STEP FOUR: Plenary questions for discussion

Download this document for details of all four steps.

The text of the story

PDF of Active Inspire Slides

Component 1 WALT: Understand how fossils are formed

You can access all seven Rocks and Soils compontents for free PLUS Marginalised Voices in Sheffield’s History and Early Years: Local Stories by filling in the form below.