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, Mary-Poppins-like, from one of the pockets of her overcoat, much to the delight of the crowd of children gathered around her.
I decided to use this story with my after-school club last week. After we’d read the whole story together which had the whole group in gales of laughter, I firstly asked the children to think of their own character with the same number of syllables as Angelica Sprocket. The idea I’d had was for the group to draw the picture of their character with lots of pockets on their coat and then draw lines coming from these and write in full sentences (rhyming if they were feeling in a rhyming mood) about the pockets’ contents. However, ideas sometimes don’t go quite to plan. What happened on this occasion was that the kids were enjoying drawing their pictures so much that we didn’t really reach the writing part. At least, some of them did but it was more words than sentences and certainly no rhyming going on.
But, you know what? There are times when you just have to go with the energy of the group and if they’re loving something that much, so be it. So this session was more creative drawing and less creative writing but that’s ok! They had a blast and anybody that can pull an elephant or the kitchen sink from a pocket with Angelica Sprocket’s flair is pretty classy in my books.
For the first time EVER during my Magic Pencil sessions in the garden, we were rained out last week and had to come inside…amazing it’s never happened before!
As an aside, after doing the session I found this resource for teaching ideas around Angelica Sprocket’s pockets for any teachers reading this, which includes an interview filmed with Quentin Blake himself.
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