Author: Jemila Birhanu (Ethiopia) | Published on 1 July 2022


Stories are the closest way to a learner’s heart. They help learners to stay motivated, interested and focused on the topic. They can also develop their reading, speaking and writing skills. 

Stage 1: Preparation. 

Prepare a story, “The shepherd who cried wolf” or any story of your choice depending on your teaching topic. 

Stage 2: Presentation 

Present the story to learners. 

You can tell or read the story, use audio or video recordings, or give learners the chance to read the story. 

Stage 3: Q&A (feedback

Ask questions about the story. 


  • Did you like the story?
  • What do you feel about it? 
  • What did you learn from it?

Stage 4: Description

Put learners in pairs, groups or individuals and ask them to describe the shepherd.

You can start by giving a word like the shepherd is “young”.

It helps if you write the words learners use on the board.

You can also start a game like ‘Stand up, sit down’:

Teacher: “Stand up when you hear a word that describes the shepherd, sit down for all other words.” 

Then say the adjectives out loud. Identify and praise the winners.  

Instead of saying the words flashcards also can be used.

Stage 5: Closing

To conclude the lesson:

  • Ask questions to summarize the words “What do we call the words used to describe the shepherd?” 
  • Tell learners that the words used to describe the shepherd are called adjectives.
  • State their use and give more examples for further clarification
  • You can also extend by asking them to write opposites of the adjectives describing the shepherd.
  • Add a writing activity, for example, write a letter to the shepherd.  


The shepherd who cried wolf (story)

Once there was a shepherd boy who had to look after a flock of sheep.

    One day, he felt bored and decided to play a trick on the villagers.

    He shouted, “Help! Wolf! Wolf!”

    The villagers heard his cries and rushed out of the village to help the shepherd boy. When they reached him, they asked, “Where is the wolf?”

    The shepherd boy laughed loudly, “Ha, Ha, Ha! I fooled all of you. I was only playing a trick on you.”

A few days later, the shepherd boy played this trick again.

Again he cried, “Help! Help! Wolf! Wolf!”

Again, the villagers rushed up the hill to help him, and again they found that the boy had tricked them. They were very angry with him for being so naughty.

Then, some time later, a wolf went into the field. The wolf attacked one sheep and then another and another. The shepherd boy ran towards the village shouting, “Help! Help! Wolf! Help! Somebody!”

The villagers heard his cries, but they laughed because they thought it was another trick. The boy ran to the nearest villager and said, “A wolf is attacking the sheep. I lied before, but this time it is true!”

Finally, the villagers went to look. It was true. They could see the wolf running away and many dead sheep lying on the grass.

Moral: We may not believe someone who often tells lies even when he tells the truth.


Prepare: make ready

Present: introduce

Feedback: response to questions

Describe: say what someone or something looks like

Clarification: interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding

See also