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Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson, beloved Scottish author of Treasure Island as well as a number of other books for children and adults and an abundance of poems and musical compositions, travelled a great deal throughout his life before finally making…
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How to start with poetry for children? Immersion, leisure, enjoyment, fun

'Poetry plays a powerful role in increasing students’ literacy skills in schools. But unless literacy starts with goosebumps, laughter, or contemplation, none of us would bother to read anything but bills, instructions and road signs. When…
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Benjamin Zephaniah's Imagine Nation

Benjamin Zephaniah. Wow, what an inspiration. Highly dyslexic, he left school at 13 being unable to read or write, had constant brushes with the law before turning his hand to poetry and making it accessible to all kinds of people in all kinds…
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Creating catchy newspaper articles with kids

I did a really fun writing activity recently with a group of children. I cut out lots of pictures of people from magazines and then asked the kids to chose one picture each. After discussing what a journalist does, I split the group into pairs…
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It's all about reading

I love these two little pictures that my daughter drew recently, just because she felt like it. I couldn't agree more, it really is all about reading. I say time and again to the children I work with that my number one tip for being a good…
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Ben Okri's ten and a half inclinations

The Royal Society of Literature once asked 10 writers to suggest the 10 books that children should read before leaving school. Instead of writing a list of books, this is what the writer Ben Okri wrote. Pure brilliance. 1. There is a secret…
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Creating new worlds

I am very lucky indeed to be able to hold my after school club in one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen. I don't know what it is about that hour between 4 and 5pm here in Nairobi, but even if it's ben cold and rainy during the day,…
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Favourite things

The school where I do my voluntary creative writing workshops throws up a whole new set of interesting challenges. Yesterday the two major challenges I had to contend with were that firstly the lighting was really, really poor in the classroom,…
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Teacher, teacher rhyme time

When I'm doing poetry with children, I try to encourage them to be open to not making a poem rhyme. Because they don't, of course, have to. And some of my very favourite poems are non-rhyming which is of course very different from being non-rhythmic.…
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Entry with Audio

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