Taking the story out: two fire stories

Continuing on from my blog on stories outside and Little Red I plan to dedicate this blog to two fire stories with good school links. Making fire forms a central part of most forest school programs, a scouts staple and adventure holidays. Teaching fire skills has numerous advantages for children. It teaches self control, patience, and gives a great sense of satisfaction when they can admire their fire. I’m not going to go into how to make fires or teach fire making here as there are plenty of sources on this and I’d inevitably miss out vital safety advice. My instructions would be no substitute for experiencing it through physically through a course. In both stories fire is central to the plots making them ideal to tell around the fire.

The tiger child


This traditional Indian tale tells the story of a tiger who wants fire. He sends his young nephew off to the village to collect fire as the villagers won’t be scared of the little tiger. However the young tiger is seduced by the villages comforts and becomes a kitten to the dismay of his uncle.

The story itself is simple, but it makes a good starting point to develop understanding of the world. The illustrations show aspects of a more traditional Indian village life. Apart from the obvious forest school link to fire making it provides good geography, art and music links.

This is part of a puffin series of books telling tales from round the world. In the same series is how rabbit stole fire. This is a Native American fire origin story. While I know the tale I don’t own this one so won’t comment on the quality or recommend.

The fire children


The second fire story I’m recommending is a West African tale. The fire children tells the story of how the first people were made and baked from the clay of the earth. Within my current work in year one I teach the Christian story of Genesis and the Hindu creation story. The fire children firms an interesting contrast to these. The picture book has beautiful illustrations and brings about many questions from inquisitive minds.

The story makes a good starting point to look at West Africa. Within key stage 2 we currently opted for the history topic on Benin. Within KS1 it gives another reason to look at the continents ticking the KS1 geography targets. For foundation stage another chance to understand the world.

As with the tiger child the fire children has good opportunities to create art. The most obvious being to look at work with clay. This blog: practical primitive has an explanation of how to extract clay from soil. Alternatively air drying clay can be bought to allow children a more permanent souvenir of the story. Or else just encourage some sculpting in the mud kitchen.  At a stretch if nether are available provide playdough to make figures.

And that’s it for this blog. Finish with a picture of my tiger child enjoying the roaring tiger.

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