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Why engaging in poetry is a way into writing for kids

Ask a child to write a poem or ask a child to write a story. Which is less daunting? A story, on the whole, needs a beginning, middle and end. But a poem? It can be pages long. Or it can just be a few words. That's the beauty of poetry, the…
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How to get kids writing with jazz

I'm a firm believer in the power of music as a creative force. I've written before about using music alongside creative writing in order to see where this takes children on the page, as well as the importance of playlists for my novels. Rhythm…
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Where to find some fabulous poetry activities for kids

One of the best websites I have ever found for inspirational kids' poetry workshops ideas comes from the Poetry Society. I have used countless exercises via their downloadable lesson plans, adapting them as necessary to suit my needs. Recently,…
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Shel Silverstein's 'Whatif'

I think that for anyone who writes, its therapeutic properties must have come to mind at some point. We've all been there, I'm sure, that moment when we finish writing something - whether it's a letter, a diary entry, a chapter of a novel or…
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Fighting back against Kenya's alleged 'non-reading' culture

A couple of weeks ago, I ran a creative writing session in a school with about twenty 10 and 11 year old's. This is the place where I do voluntary work about once a fortnight and the kinds of writing exercises I get the kids to do is received…
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Having fun with Angelica Sprocket's Pockets

  Angelica Sprocket's Pockets is an infectiously fun story book written and illustrated by previous children's laureate Quentin Blake. The wild-haired, eccentric Angelica Sprocket continually pulls one surprising item after another,…
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Sci Fi Writing for Kids

I approached Sci Fi writing for my creative writing club with some trepidation - I haven't done much Sci Fi writing myself and I just wasn't sure if they'd run with it. But how wrong could I be? All the kids loved it, and I mean loved it.…
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Phantom Tollbooth Word Market

Imagine you go to a marketplace and instead of buying fruit and vegetables you buy words. Well, this is what Milo, hero of The Phantom Tollbooth does on one of his adventures in the land of Dictionopolis. "Get your fresh-picked ifs, ands…
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For you are a Kenyan child

For you are a Kenyan Child is a children's book not written by a Kenyan adult, but an American writer by the name of Kelly Cunnane and illustrated by a Spaniard, Ana Juan. As far as I'm concerned (and my own children I read it to), the prose…
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Pippi Longstocking

Ah, Pippi Longstocking. It is impossible not to love this girl. Gutsy, fierce and the ultimate powerful feminist, I think I'd secretly like to be Pippi. Anyway, something interesting happened yesterday whilst doing a Pippi Longstocking workshop…