the Institute for Cross-cultural Exchangethe Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange

Read Together Manuals

“These Teaching-Stories can be experienced on many levels. A child may simply enjoy hearing them, an adult may analyze them in a more sophisticated way. Both may eventually benefit from the lessons within.”
—Lynn Neary, All Things Considered, NPR News, Washington

HOOPOE TEACHING-STORIES all come from a rich tradition of storytelling in Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the Middle East. For more than a thousand years, by campfire and candlelight, people have told these stories to their children, not only to entertain them, but also to help young people understand their world. Schools for young children were rare, but storytelling was not. Education came from stories.

In presenting these stories to children you can help them understand what we share and what we can learn from each other. The stories can help children understand human nature. They encourage qualities such as self-reliance, the ability to overcome irrational fears caused by things children do not as yet understand, peaceful negotiation rather than violent confrontation, and much else.

To help you get the most out of these Teaching-Stories there is an introductory leaflet Learning that Lasts: Teaching-Stories for Early Childhood Education (pdf) and a set of free materials for teachers and parents below.

In this ancient tradition, stories are told to young and old alike. A story can help children deal with difficult situations and give them something to hold onto. It can, at the same time, stimulate a deeper understanding as they become adults. These downloadable/printable manuals provide the stories’ background and tips of reading and sharing them with your children. They also suggest one or two activities associated with each tale that can help children improve their literacy skills while they make each story their own.

Click any title below to download its printable parent and teacher manual.

 The Boy Without A Name

The Clever Boy and the
Terrible, Dangerous Animal

  The Farmer’s Wife

Fatima the Spinner and the Tent

The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water

The Magic Horse

The Man and the Fox

The Man with Bad Manners

Neem the Half-Boy

The Old Woman and the Eagle

The Silly Chicken