Skip to main content

ARTiculate newsletter: May 2018

Hello teachers!

With the number of ‘awareness’ days slightly overwhelming the calendar, it is most certainly forgivable if you’ve blanked them all out. May is full of them, by the way. While National Handwashing Day and International Dawn Chorus Day (5th and 7th of May respectively, if you have your diary to hand) might not get your pulse racing, one awareness worth being aware of is National Share a Story Month which runs throughout May.

So, if you are looking for a perfect sharing-book to celebrate, look no further than The Willow Pattern Story by Allan Drummond, a beautiful take on the story of the famous Chinese pottery design. It is ideal for reading together, alone or using it for your literacy lessons.

Scroll down for details on how to use The Willow Pattern Story to set your literacy lessons aflutter.

Greater Depth in writing CPD – Pudsey schools away day – April 2018I was delighted to be invited to present at the Pudsey Family of Schools away day last week. It was an opportunity to discuss achieving greater depth in primary writing. It was great to meet the teachers of Pudsey and they had some wonderful ideas as we followed hot on the trail of the mysteriously disappeared writer and illustrator, Harris Burdick.

For me, developing independent, creative and high-achieving writers is linked to shifting our view of children as writers and the importance of moving children towards the idea that they are authors with a unique voice rather than simply pupils in a literacy lesson.  Achieving this requires a whole-school focus on creativity, publishing children’s work, feedback and collaboration rather than surges on grammar, spelling and handwriting.

Feedback from the teachers was excellent with one teacher commenting: “Was a great session! Made me think of myself as a writer as well as a teacher.” Thanks again!

If you would like to book this, or similar, CPD for your school, please contact me at articulateeducation@gmail.com. Info on training courses I offer can be found at www.articulateeducation.co.uk/p/teacher-training-packages.

A book for your shelf: The Willow Pattern Story by Allan Drummond




 
This beautifully illustrated book tells the classic story of Chinese lovers Koong-Shee and Chang that is immortalised in the familiar blue and white pottery pattern that we know, love and take to charity shops. Actually, the story and has no basis in China whatsoever and was invented in England after the pottery design was already popular in the 1800s. But the story draws on stylistic elements of Chinese culture and is brilliantly retold and reimagined by Allan Drummond. The book is perfect for encouraging storytelling in Key Stage 1.

This resource can be purchased from my e-shop on TES online (click here to access).
You can get it for free by joining my mailing list. Email articulateeducation@gmail.com with the word 'subscribe' as the email subject.




Resource summary


Ideas for talking and thinking: Use the classic design as a visual story map to encourage thinking and storytelling…
Ideas for writing: Retell this love story through writing and performance…
Ideas for art: Create your own willow pattern plates…

Ideas for other books and films ideal for creative literacy can be found in my e-shop, click here to visit my website.

How can I get Stefan to work with my school?
When schools approach me, these are usually the things they need to know. Click on what your school needs to visit my website and find out more.
#1 We need someone to show us how to inspire a class or year group about literacy and writing.
#2 We want a creative challenge for a high-flying group of children.
#3 We need a boost for a group of children who struggle with writing.
#4 We'd love someone to offer regular creative classes at our school.
#5 Our staff want training on how to plan better literacy topics.
#6 It is none of those things, but we’d like you to...

Why not drop me an email at articulateeducation@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy book sharing!
Stefan

PS – after an enquiry about the research project in Cape Town featured in last month’s bulletin, I’d like to clarify that the film made in a primary school was independent of the research project. The film was made for the school and the children who participated – it was not for profit and is not publicly available.

Popular posts from this blog

Creative writing based on Hokusai's The Great Wave

The Great Wave - Creative writing workshop, Year 6

Week 1: Vocabulary development








Inspired by Japanese artist Hokusai's masterpiece The Great Wave, Year 6 are starting on a creative voyage to bring the iconic print to literary life! We spent some time poring over the features of painting: the spray, the wave, the boats and, well hidden, Mount Fuji.

After reading an account of Ellen MacArthur's sailing voyages, we began to generate some cutting edge vocabulary to give our writing some sparkle.

This was the process:
Children labelled the features of the picture, including parts of the wave (crest, barrel, swell, lip)We chose personified verbs for the different features. 'Grabbing', 'scratching' and 'grasping' for the finger-like lip of the wave; 'screaming', 'slapping' and 'whistling' for the wind.The group selected similes for each of the features. The wind became 'a bellowing dragon', the boats were 'a floating feather&…

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…