Posts

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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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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,…
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How to get children to be 'Sound Detectives' before producing great writing

Of course there will be examples to counter this but the Kenyan education system, on the whole, is not known for getting children to think for themselves, ask questions or be creative. So it's a challenge to take creative writing and poetry…
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Haiku: The perfect poem in miniature to get kids writing poetry

Perfect three lined poems/ Encapsulating the pulse/ And breath of life. Now. What more wonderful way to introduce children who are wary of poetry than to share Haiku with them. Deliciously short and sweet, even young children grasp the concept…
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A wonderful poem to share with nine year old's

The prolific children's writer Allan Ahlberg grew up, by his own admission, with "a fair few clips round the ear, no books and not much conversation." But that hasn't stopped him from writing over 140 books for children, many of which his wife…
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Why is a pen magic? Read this poem with kids and find out

The Thin Prison was written by Welsh poet Leslie Norris and perfectly encapsulates the excitement and magic of unleashing words from a pen. I looked at this today with a large group of Year 4's (in a school that borders Nairobi National Park…
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How to use Monsters as inspiration to get kids writing

This week I worked with a group of Year Three's at Hillcrest School. We had lots of fun playing monster-themed games to get the children thinking about new and interesting ways to describe monsters. Using Ogden Nash's poem The Wendigo as…
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Magic Box poetry workshop

St.Anne's is a Catholic school in a suburb of Nairobi called Kisserian. This group of kids (aged between 7 and 13) gave up their free holiday time to come back to school for a poetry workshop. We used Kit Wright's wonderful poem, The Magic…
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Halloween Poetry

With Halloween on the horizon, in October I worked with Year 3 pupils at the Banda School to produce responses to James Kirkup's poem 'Who's That?' The children worked brilliantly together to come up with some spooky nouns, adjectives and verbs…