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Showing posts from May, 2016

Blood thirsty Macbeth posters

Macbeth Creative writing workshop, KS2 Macbeth is a blood-drenched, gory and spooky tale. To o 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 Scott ish play.  As well as getting the children to write short playscripts, developing the climactic s howdown between Macbeth and Macduff (more on this at a later date), my groups ha ve designed some concept posters for the play. The children chose a colou r and symbol that represented some aspect of the play (bloody red, royal purple, a black cat for the wi tches, a chess p iece 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 cu pboard that nobody uses...) to achieve a battle-worn, scratchy effect. Gory blood sp latters w ent dow n a treat to o! Here are some fine examples! Royal Shakespeare Company, take note!

Sakura - Making the most of spring blossom with some creative writing!

Sakura, Sakura!   Creative writing workshop, KS2 Children inspiring their writing with a trip to the school garden! Spring has well and truly sprung! Old news for most in the Northern Hemisphere, I know, but as the cherry tree at the end of my garden has now exploded into a cloud of pink blossom, the beautiful growing season is hard to miss.  This natural inspiration is priceless and, following on from a workshop about iconic Japanese print The Great Wave, provides the perfect backdrop for some writing on the Japanese Hanami cherry blossom (sakura) festival. Using a selection of Hiroshige and Hokusai woodblock prints as inspiration, my group spent the morning outside in the school garden getting up close and blossomy with the pink blooms. Following their senses, the children developed a vocabulary bank featuring precise verbs (floating, dancing, waving, gliding and so on) and evocative adjectives (silky, glossy, transparent, baby pink, sweet aroma and many more).

"We couldn't fail to turn when we heard it brutally roaring...." Creative writing based on Hokusai's The Great Wave

The Great Wave - Creative writing workshop, Year 6 Week 2: Drafting a narrative After our previous work on vocabulary, this week's workshop was a chance for the children to put their rich language and ideas into action. A first draft of writing based on The Great Wave (Hokusai) - Year 6 boy, Leeds primary school Writing from the perspective of one of Hokusai's cowering sailors, we tried to convey the right mood and atmosphere as the fishermen face down the monster wave. The superb example above, by a Year 6 boy, shows how we captured this scene perfectly... "One again, we faced our nemesis, the flowing nightmare: The Great Wave." Zing! A good author needs a strong command of language. This writing, although excellent, didn't just happen! It was built upon the foundations of creative thought, a rich bank of vocabulary and the experience of applying it in sentences. These were key parts of the process:  Children read a model text to see how a pi