It was a summer afternoon, and like most summer afternoons, a group of boys were playing together in a park. They knew each other well, as they had spent the last three years of school together and tomorrow was the start of a new term, about which they were very excited and nervous.
The first day of school came, and all the boys from the park the day before were put in the same class. They jumped for joy all morning long. After lunch, the teacher came into the classroom with a boy they had never seen before. He was from China, and none of them had ever met anyone from that country.
All the children were quiet, waiting for the teacher to speak. And this is what she said: “Hello everyone, this is our newest class member. His name is Meipei and he’s six years old, just like all of you. Meipei comes from China, but he knows some English so I hope you will help him settle in and make him feel at home.”
Then one of the children said to Meipei: “How come you speak differently?” so Meipei answered: “In my country, we all talk this way. But we’re just the same as you.” Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time there was a school situated in the middle of a very big city and surrounded by very busy roads. The children would often run out of school and start playing, not realising how dangerous it was to have a road so close by. There had already been accidents when children crossed the road without looking, or when they ran around near the traffic lights.
To stop this happening again, a local traffic light thought to himself: “Why don’t I warn the children by shouting when cars are coming? Or perhaps I should grab them by the backpack…?”
He thought this would be a very good idea, so he told his friend the zebra crossing. But the zebra crossing said: “If we do that, we will only cause children in a different neighbourhood to have an accident, because they will rely on us to save them. But we won’t be there!” The traffic light thought this through, and realised that the zebra crossing was right.
So they decided to do something different: “From now on, every day we’ll explain to each child the dangers of crossing the road without looking, and we’ll use videos so they can see the dangers for themselves.” Read the rest of this short story »
Lawrence was a little boy of 8 years old who loved playing with his toys. On the whole he was a good boy and always got very good marks at school. That’s why one Christmas Santa Claus had arrived loaded with toys for Lawrence, for Lawrence had written to tell Santa that his school results were better than last year’s and that was why he wanted more toys.
Among the presents Santa gave Lawrence was a magic blackboard where you could write or draw anything you liked, but which erased everything when you shook it. Without a doubt, it was the Christmas present he liked most of all, for he spent hours and hours playing with it.
After the holiday was over, Lawrence decided to take the magic blackboard to school to show his classmates. But Liam, the naughtiest boy in the class, ran off with Lawrence’s board and teased him all through break.
“Liam, give me my board back!” shouted Lawrence. But Liam was taller than Lawrence and held it above his head so that Lawrence couldn’t reach it.
“Go on Lawrence, jump!” teased Liam. Read the rest of this short story »
Eleven-year-old Jamie loved playing football on his games console. In fact, he loved it so much he would spend hours and hours without stopping. When the teachers set homework at school, he would lock himself away in his room to do it, or so his parents thought…
But one day, the school called Jamie’s mother to go and speak to his teacher, as Jamie hadn’t handed in any homework for a month – ever since his birthday when his parents had given him the games console.
“What’s Jamie done this time?” asked Jamie’s mother.
“Well, it’s been a month since Jamie has done any homework and lately I’ve noticed that he’s very distracted in class. Do you know what could be wrong?”
Then Jamie’s mother realised that he had been telling lies all this time, for instead of going to his room to do homework, he was playing football on his games console.
“Yes, I know what the problem is. Don’t worry, I’ll talk to Jamie,” she told the teacher. Read the rest of this short story »
In a school many years ago there was a teacher called Maria, who was very strict but knew a lot about reading and language. The children in her class called her “Miss” and went around calling “Miss, Miss!!” any time they wanted something. In her class there were fourteen boys and fourteen girls, and although the boys usually made more noise, normally everyone behaved very well.
One day, “Miss” Maria asked one of the boys, Peter, to read a children’s story. Peter began reading the children’s tale, which went like this: “In a far-off land there was once a sweet young princess called Sophie…” The little boy stopped and exclaimed: “This is a girls’ story!!” and the whole class laughed. Maria the teacher interrupted to say: “Peter, it’s a children’s story and it’s for girls as well as boys. Think about this, do princes like princesses? They do, don’t they? So this is also a story for boys, because princesses are in it and when you are older you will probably like them.”
Peter was speechless at “Miss’s” explanation, but he realised that she was right and you should keep reading a story just the same, however girly it might seem.
Then it was a little girl’s turn to read a story, and her name was Christina. Read the rest of this short story »
There was once a green swing in a very big playground, which was inside a school. It was a very special swing, for adults couldn’t see it. But the children would play on it every day. They could see it from anywhere in the playground, for it shone a radiant green even at night-time.
One day, twelve-year-old Joshua decided to go and play on the swing as he did every day, but this afternoon he felt rather an odd sensation as he walked nearer. It was almost like he didn’t feel like playing…
The next day, to his horror, he could no longer see the swing. And even though he wasn’t sure what had happened to it, he began to cry…
Joshua was so worried about this turn of events that he went to tell his friends, but none of them knew what had happened either. They tried to reassure him: “We don’t know what’s wrong with you, but we can see the swing…Maybe it’s because you’ve got older…” Read the rest of this short story »
A long time ago in a little village called Four Houses, there lived a red bus whose job it was to take the children to school. Normally, the bus would stop in the village square to collect them and take them to another village a few kilometres away, for there was no school in Four Houses.
Each journey cost ninety-nine cents, but one day the red bus decided that he wasn’t going to charge the children anything at all, for many of their parents had no job and it was difficult to save money, and he thought it would be a good way of helping them.
The red bus was delighted to take the children for free, but after a few months his wheels were so worn out that he couldn’t even turn around and it was very difficult to move.
One morning, the mothers and fathers were ready as usual in the main square of Four Houses waiting for the red bus. But this was no ordinary day, for the red bus was twenty minutes’ late… Very slowly, he came chugging along but once he got to the square he collapsed from exhaustion. There was no way he could take the children to school today…
Seeing that all the red bus wanted to do was help them help their children get a good education, the villagers decided that each family would put forward some money according to how much they could afford. Then the helpful bus could go to a garage to be repaired and be as good as new. Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time there was a tap that was used to wash plates… which is to say he was a tap in a kitchen in a house in the countryside.
He didn’t see people very often, so to entertain himself he learned to speak – but he only ever talked to himself. He would tell himself stories about what his life would be like if people lived in his house.
One day, new owners bought the house – and they had a little daughter called Maria. The little girl didn’t have many friends nearby, for her house was quite far away from the village. So she would amuse herself by playing with the furniture and items in the house, and the thing she most liked to play with was the talking tap.
Maria would turn it on and off constantly to watch the water gush out or drip.The tap was delighted that he was involved in the game, but Maria spent a lot of time playing with him, and there was something about it that worried him…
One day, the tap said to Maria: “Hello Maria, don’t be frightened. I’m a talking tap and I learned to speak a long time ago.” Amazed, Maria went silent. So the tap kept talking: “It’s ok to play, Maria, just not with me. The water I spout is very valuable and we mustn’t waste it.”
And that was when Maria, who was very alarmed to hear the tap talking to her, understood that she shouldn’t play with the water, for wasting water is the stupidest thing in the world.
Once upon a time there was a little boy called Johnny who had a little problem with his legs. Whenever he ran races with his friends, his legs would tremble beneath him and he could never manage to win.
This made him feel very bad and he didn’t want to race anymore because his friends always beat him. Then one day, a boy in the class next door said to him: “Shall I tell you how to win a race against your friends?” and Johnny answered: “Yes, please! I want to beat them at least once.”
So off they went to the school racetrack where the boy from the next-door class taught him a few tricks to strengthen his legs. They trained for three hours at a time, and soon Johnny began to notice that he was getting faster with every single race.
After two weeks, Johnny suggested a race to his friends. “But Johnny, you never win!!” said one. Johnny pretended he hadn’t heard him, so off they went to the track… Read the rest of this short story »