Goodnight stories NOT ONLY for rebel girls – 9 reasons why this book is a great ESOL/ESL resource

Having seen “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” published in five different languages made me realise it could be a wonderful ESOL/ESL resource. It inspired me to create some corresponding reading tasks I am sharing with you below.

These are my reasons why we should use this book as a language teaching resource:

  1. The book touches on the widely popular and important Equality & Diversity theme in many ways. Apart from introducing female heroines and role models from all over the world, it also describes briefly cultures and histories of various countries. Picking the relevant stories will make our students involved and proud that their backgrounds are mentioned. This will also encourage the learners to present additional info to us.
  2. The stories open the discussion of gender equality that shouldn’t be overlooked in any classroom.
  3. The stories are short, which makes them great additions to our lessons, in forms of warmers or extension activities. I am sure that many examples described in the stories may be linked to our lessons’ topics.
  4. Since the book has been written for the teenage audience, the language is simple and easy to follow. What else would a language teacher want?
  5. With this book our students will never stop practising their reading skills! The sky is the limit here! You may want to use my ideas attached below or create your own comprehension exercises for the chosen stories, differentiating your choices accordingly.
  6. The book is a great source for practising Past Simple – we can design your own activities based on the texts, for example, ask students to underline the verbs, make a list of all verbs in a notebook, choose sentences for a gap filling exercise, change affirmative sentences to negatives or questions, ask questions about the texts, and many, many more!
  7. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is a great source of motivation to read – once our student knows and likes the book, they can read it to/with their children at home and recommend it to their friends who will read it to/with their children too, who will talk about the book at school and so on… Everybody will be reading it! It’s contagious!
  8. The book itself is a great product of teamwork. Apart from two authors, Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, there are sixty extraordinary female artists who made the beautiful illustrations, and even more people who supported the creation of the book on Kickstarter. This is an excellent point to mention when embedding employability and discussing future career goals with the students.
  9. We don’t have to teach English only to use this resource. There are editions available in other languages. Just pick another one for your classes!


Pre-reading exercises for the students:

  1. Look at the title or image and guess what the text is about.
  2. How do you think the following details (eg. names, figures or dates) relate to in the story?
  3. Do you know anything about the person described in the story?

The reading tasks can be followed up with the following tasks:

  1. Choose 1 story and present it to the class (use 1st or 3rd person narrative, past or present tenses).
  2. Make a classroom display.
  3. Write your own short story about a person from your country.
  4. Choose a story and write 5 questions for your classmate to answer after reading.
  5. Summarise a story in 5 sentences.
  6. Express your opinions about chosen heroines (Who you admire most and why? Who was the bravest and why? Which story surprised you and why?)
  7. Add more information to a chosen story. Tell us what you know or research further information online.
  8. Write a role play for a chosen story.

Here you can purchase the book:

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

  1. https://www.rebelgirls.co/products/good-night-stories-for-rebel-girls
  2. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Night-Stories-Rebel-Girls/dp/014198600X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541357000&sr=8-1&keywords=goodnight+stories+for+rebel+girls

Below, you will find 10 sets of differentiated graded reading comprehension tasks ready to print. I will be using them as snappy warmers! How would you use them?