Skip to main content

You Little Beauty! Fantastic FREE taster workshop in Leeds today!

This workshop was an excellent introduction to empathy in children's literature and a great way for children to explore the skills and processes used by real author-illustrators. 

What a great way to end the week! Spending some creative time with some Year 4 children at their school in Leeds today!

Today, we got our teeth into the curious tale of Little Beauty by Anthony Browne. Not all is as it seems at this 'special' zoo - home to one lonely but talented primate. With a comfortable arm chair, flat screen TV and with tea and burgers on-demand, this gorilla might seem to have it all. But the one thing he is missing is a true friend. Enchanting!
A brilliant charcoal drawing of gorilla with a very effective painted background!

Comparing the lifestyle, diet and habitat of this special gorilla with the REAL mountain gorillas of Central Africa, the children produced some excellent writing. They even turned their hand to some mixed media artwork to give our gorilla a bit of colour in his new found happiness.


Thanks to the children and the school for a fantastic hardworking morning.

This workshop was an excellent introduction to empathy in children's literature and a great way for children to explore the skills and processes used by real author-illustrators.

To win a free taster workshop for your primary school, click the link here! Closes 1 June 2015. Leeds primary schools only (sorry folks!)

A superb piece of writing by a Year 4 child comparing real Mountain gorillas with Anthony Browne's creation. 

Popular posts from this blog

Blood thirsty Macbeth posters

Macbeth
Creative writing workshop, KS2
Macbeth is a blood-drenched, gory and spooky tale. Too gruesome for little ones? Apparently not! The Year 4 and 5 children I have been working with this half term have become completely immersed in the Scottish play.  As well as getting the children to write short playscripts, developing the climactic showdown between Macbeth and Macduff (more on this at a later date), my groups have designed some concept posters for the play. The children chose a colour and symbol that represented some aspect of the play (bloody red, royal purple, a black cat for the witches, a chess piece for the king) and overlayed it with words that help tell the story. We used emulsion paint and big worn-out brushes (the ones at the back of the cupboard that nobody uses...) to achieve a battle-worn, scratchy effect. Gory blood splatters went down a treat too! Here are some fine examples!

ARTiculate newsletter: March 2018

Hello teachers!

Well this is embarrassing! 2018 is already three months old and this is my first newsletter. A combination of exciting creative work and house moving has stolen my time. But here is an update on everything ARTiculate and, as usual, resources and recommendations for you to use to add a creative spark to your literacy teaching!


Between the lines: a lesson in diversity from a bookshop in Cape Town
This month I am in South Africa’s most beautiful city: Cape Town. There are many issues in education here in South Africa, not least the massive disparity in opportunity and funding for children in many schools. After a visit to the fantastic bookshop The Book Lounge, I have been inspired by the interesting range of children’s literature on offer; crucially, it is literature representative of the diversity in the country.

A bit of a poke in the ribs for teachers like us in the UK: how much does the literature we use in our classrooms reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of th…

Jambo! Visit to Brookhouse School, Kenya

Our second week on our Kenya trip and an opportunity to visit the Karen campus of the Brookhouse School, Nairobi. And quite an experience it was too!

A private school, Brookhouse is regarded as one of the most prestigious schools in the country and it is hard to deny that the campus is stunning: a small farm with ostriches, secretary birds and guinea fowl, life size sculptures of safari animals in the playground, the library with the 'learning tree' that is also a staircase (and also the pride and joy of Jonathan, the school's librarian) and a computer lab that is decked out like a space station. These are facilities that most schools in Kenya - and, for that matter, the UK - can only dream of.

While this material investment may be out of reach for many schools, the schools commitment to creative learning is not.

Meeting the deputy headteacher and curriculum leader Andrew Kimwele and teacher Susan Bantu, it was interesting to hear the school's approach to creative, cr…