August 29, 2011

Opening and closing stories with grace

Lewis Carroll said that telling a story is giving a gift of love.

I believe that we should wrap up presents when we give them to your friends as this shows how much we value the relationship and the act of being together. When giving stories as presents, we can wrap them up gracefully in many ways. One in particular is with openings and endings, which are very unique sentences that mark that the stories are about to start and that they have just finished. These lines set the boundaries of fantasy and reality, allowing us to be and dream together when we are between them.

I have been always very curious about different ways to open and close stories. Here I present 50 ways to open and 50 ways to close stories in a way to present new options to the traditional "Once upon a time" and "They lived happily ever after".

As I usually say at school, choose a couple of openings and endings that have resonated with you and use these during the semester. Children will not only recognize them straight away, but will also be happy to complete the openings and closings when you start saying them. After some time, I just make a gesture and leave them the delight to announce the stories.

Here is a video that I prepared based on the list at

Enjoy them with your children and students!

That's all folks!

Big hug,



  1. Hei.... why did you keep this in the shadows for so long???? I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee it! The video is awesome!
    Thanks, Maria :)

    1. Thank you Maria!
      This is an old post that I sometimes respread on the internet.
      There are just so many possibilities. Choose one and stick to it for a year or so.

      Wishing you lovely stories,

  2. I agree with María!. When I read the post on FB, I thought it was brand new! It´s a FANTASTIC compilation of story openings and closings! Although I am not currently teaching children, I definitely will keep the collection, recommend it to my colleagues at school and put it into practice with my six-year-old daughter, Carolina. Thank you so much for sharing, Juan!! :-)

    1. Hi Fabiana!
      Happy you enjoyed it. Do try them out with Carolina and tell me how it goes.
      Thank you for sharing it as well!

      Wishing you great stories,


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