Learning resources

These resources have been specially designed to support classroom teaching using National Library of Scotland (NLS) collections.


The Ideas Factory

Two machine cogs

An interactive online workshop, 'The Ideas Factory' guides you through planning a story before you start writing. Developed as an experimental creative writing project in conjunction with the John Murray Archive writer in residence, playwright Peter Arnott. It includes teachers' notes with advice for using this resource in classroom teaching.

Curriculum Areas: English (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)


Heroes: The splendid insights of Mr Smiles

Samuel Smiles

The 'Heroes' resource offers a series of cross-curricular lesson plans bringing history and citizenship together with drama inspired by Samuel Smiles, one of the first 'self-help' gurus. Includes downloadable PDF drama activities designed in partnership with Scottish Youth Theatre.

Curriculum Areas: A Curriculum for Excellence: Expressive Arts, Drama (Standard Grade, Higher, Advanced Higher)


Themes in focus: Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray

Find out more about Scottish writer and artist Alasdair Gray by exploring seven items from NLS collections. The selected items highlight Gray's creative process, and there are suggestions for related art and creative writing activities.


This book belongs to me

A downloadable teachers pack inspired by our 2002 exhibition which celebrated over 300 years of children's literature, from Tom Thumb to Harry Potter. The resource pack was created in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust to accompany the exhibition.

It was designed to support the 5-14 Curriculum, but is still useful for teaching literacy and English.


Creativity main page

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Library favourites

Sally Harrower

An introduction to the 7:84 Scotland Company theatre archive. Watch video

Library learning for you

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