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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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Physical Descriptions

If I've learnt anything through writing with children, it's to keep the premise of the sessions simple and then watch as the magic unfolds under its own steam. I'm currently rediscovering the wonder of The Hobbit with my eldest daughter and…
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An anthem to childhood

This year marks the centenary of the birth of wonderful poet and playwright, Dylan Thomas. Several months ago, I discovered a new poem by him called Being But Men. Astonishingly, Thomas never rated this poem highly himself and declined to have…
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Wilde Words

Illustrated by Lisa Congdon
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Taking on a character

                                When working with characterisation, drama provides the perfect medium to bring into workshops. Today, after a…
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The Magic Box

There is one workshop that I have used again and again with all kinds of different children and it honestly never fails to amaze me what they produce by the end of it. This is largely thanks to the richness of Kit Wright's wonderful poem 'The…
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Story Maps

Having three children means I get to test lots of my workshop ideas out on them which can be really helpful. This week, I worked with the top class of a kindergarten (equivalent to Year 1), "making a story" and trying this out with my kids first…
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I wonder

I am three quarters of the way through my Coursera online course, Teaching character and creating positive classrooms, and at the moment we're focussing on building the teaching of character strengths into lesson plans. With this in mind,…