Inspiring readers with Lyfta

Content Team
Share this page
Both Lyfta and children’s books give students the opportunity to explore new worlds, voices and perspectives. In this new series, we explore how our community of teachers have been using quality children’s literature alongside Lyfta to improve reading skills across all key stages.

Excited learning
Excited learning
blue quote

"Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience."

blue line
Books give children the opportunity to explore new worlds, voices and perspectives. They allow readers a window into other lives, and can act as mirrors, showing us people with backgrounds similar to our own. Perhaps they are at their most powerful, though, when they give us the chance to empathise with those who are very different. Lyfta's storyworlds also give students this opportunity, allowing them to see beyond their everyday reality, and understand the backgrounds and motivations of a variety of people around the world.
This alignment means that many teachers have found that Lyfta complements the teaching of a class novel or picture book. As well as providing many opportunities to extend reading and visual literacy skills with articles, subtitles and immersive 360° environments, using Lyfta storyworlds alongside children's books can help you explore global learning and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as values including empathy, compassion and resilience. Below are some real-life examples from our teaching community.

EYFS + Key stage one

From Beachcomber
From Beachcomber
Samantha, an EYFS teacher from Farndon Fields Primary School used the Beachcomber storyworld, about Rob, who collects rubbish and creates artwork to raise awareness of plastic ocean pollution, alongside Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel, illustrated by Alexandra Colombo. The picture book is suitable for children aged two to six, and tells the story of a boy who realises the air and water in his town are polluted, and embarks on a journey to get others involved in improving the environment.
You can also use the resources in the Andrea's Yard, Phone Box Saviour, and Beekeeper's Garden and Fish Tales storyworlds to further explore sustainability and environmental themes.

Key stage two

From the Awra Amba series
From the Awra Amba series
Natasha, from Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd in Cardiff read Onjali Q Raùf's The Boy at the Back of the Class with her students. This story gives a child's perspective on the refugee experience, and is suitable for children aged seven to eleven. Natasha used this book alongside the resources in the Awra Amba storyworld to explorethe value of education.
Teachers could also use the Dinnertime 360° Storyworld, particularly films A Regular Finnish Family or My Daughter and I to explore the issues around migration, marginalisation and multiculturalism.

Key stage 3 and key stage 4

From Everyone Has a Story
From Everyone Has a Story
For secondary school English teachers wanting a fantastic opportunity to explore sexuality and identity, Dean Atta's Black Flamingo is perfect. This novel, written as a series of poems, follows Michael, a gay, black teen who explores his identity through drag. Our Pride storyworld, which is based in Curacao, would be great alongside this text. Here they will meet Qwensley who, since coming out as gay at 16, has tried to balance his sexuality, faith and his relationships with his conservative family. Alternatively, Sally Nicholls' novels are a great place to explore strong female characters. Things a Bright Girl Can Do allows students to see women from different class backgrounds in the suffrage movement and her 2020 novel, The Silent Stars Go By, explores what it means to be a young woman in World War One who finds herself pregnant when her fiancée goes missing in action. The Awra Amba storyworld series can be used alongside this to provide multiple opportunities to look at gender equality, and the Everyone Has a Story storyworld from Hong Kong explores what it means to be a woman and use your voice in protest.
Character & Values
Cultural Capital
Global Learning
Human Stories
Inspiring Readers
Social Emotional Learning
Diversity Equity Inclusion
Personal Development