Promoting Reading for Pleasure with Author Interviews

Last month, a new “The Demon Headmaster Series” started on the CBBC channel (and it is also available on the BBC iPlayer). The new series replicates much of what was terrific about the original series – playing into school children’s concerns about feeling like an outsider, with genuinely great twists. There are also nods to this new series taking place in 2019, with references to social media, hashtags and overpriced hot chocolate. 

You may be wondering, “what this has to do with an LGfL curriculum blog post?” Gillian Cross, the author of The Demon Headmaster is one of the many authors featured in our ReadingZone Live resource on LGfL. So, if the pupils in your class are currently enjoying this children’s series on the television you could explore Gillian’s interview on ReadingZone Live with them. 

The huge range of author interviews hosted on LGfL’s ReadingZone Live resource can be the ideal place to start if you are looking to encourage reading for pleasure with the pupils at your school. The resource will enable the pupils to explore where published authors get their ideas from and also to have a better understanding of a range of approaches to developing story plots, characters and settings.

Recently, Sibel Pounder’s interview has been added to this extensive collection; in her much loved Bloomsbury series, she writes about fabulous mermaids, witches and feisty fairies. You may be using Sibeal’s series of books whilst studying fantasy narratives or have chosen one as a class read whilst you explore topics such as ‘Enchanted Woodlands’ or ‘Oceans and Seas’. 

Many other resources hosted on LGfL can complement a study of such literature. If you want your pupils to design a book jacket or create a storyboard for planning out their ideas for their own narratives featuring a mermaid, witch or fairy you could do so using Busy Things. Watch Sibeal talk about how she uses story maps in her writing in the clip below. 

BusyThings hosts a wealth of exciting activities to explore within the topic of traditional fairy tales too. The stories included are “The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Gingerbread Man”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Each story is retold in a fun manner, with follow up activities such as sequencing, picture ordering and building your own story scene.

In addition, remember there are a whole host of other activities available in Busy Things too. The geography section, for example, contains ‘maps and locational knowledge’ and ‘human and physical geography’ sections. Once your Headteacher has completed the data declaration release to allow LGfL USO log-in to work with Busy Things you can use the “curriculum browser” function (available in the “teacher mode”) where you can explore different search terms and this will also enable access to Busy Things at home for pupils and teachers alike.

You could further explore the story blueprints of fairytales with your pupils by listening to several of the six traditional tales featured in this resource. The pupils could then complete the accompanying activities included with each fairytale (matching, sequencing, spelling, comprehension, prepositions and pronouns etc).

The LGfL EYFS Spotlight series features a “Fairytales” topic where you will find further suggested activities to complete with younger pupils. One suggests using JIT Infant Toolkit “Paint, Animate and Mix” tabs to retell a familiar tale and to then ask the children to remix the fairy tale. The pupils could change the settings by choosing one of the many different backgrounds found within j2e or they could change the main characters by exploring the characters found in j2e clip art folder. Click here for an example. The possibilities are endless!

Within the resource Widgit you can also find pre-made resources to support traditional tales including ‘The Three Pigs’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Goldilocks’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. Each story has a fully comprehensive pack with a variety of differentiated activities, which include the story, sequencing activities, worksheets, crossword, matching activities, drawing, storyboard and play-script, all using the Widgit communication system as a scaffold to support all learners.

Remember, if you are based in a primary school you can claim 30 Adobe Creative Licenses with your Let’s Get Digital Subscription; with this creative tool the pupils could explore different designs for the worlds the characters inhabit  and so much more. 

Please let us know if you would like to write a guest blog for your use of LGfL resources and the impact they have had with your pupils and the school. Remember to share these examples via our Twitter and Facebook pages too.

 

 

BBC Children in Need 2019

BBC Children in Need is out there making a difference from coast to coast, in towns and cities right across the UK. The amazing projects they support help change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people all over the country.

So, are you joining the thousands of schools raising money this year on Friday 15th November?

This year, Twinkl is the Official Education Partner for BBC Children in Need. They are helping schools, teachers and parents join in with the annual fundraising excitement with free-to-use resources. You can also get your free schools fundraising kit, (by clicking the link) :- packed full of inspiration and tools to help your school raise money for children in the UK.

On the official Children in Need website they suggest the following activities for the different key stages:

Nursery and pre-school: They’re inviting you to ‘Get Together’ for the Great Big Pudsey Day! 

Primary schools: Whether it’s joining their exclusive appeal day activity session with Joe Wicks, or a whole-school dress-up day –they encourage you  join the fun and make an amazing difference!

Secondary Schools: From non-uniform days, fitness challenges, to A-list productions, there’s something for everyone to get involved with.

So how can LGfL support you with this event in your school too?

J2eToolsuite offers a range of resources to help you create animations for promoting “Why Fundraise for BBC Children in Need?”. You could use JIT5 or J2Spotlight to make your very animation, which then can be embedded onto your school’s website. 

If you want to add music to your videos then look no further than Audio Network. Ask your pupils to study other charities’ videos and discuss why particular types of music have been used. Which piece of music would they pick to suit a particular scene? They can then search for suitable music on Audio Network to convey the mood they are trying to put across to their 

When discussing the need to fundraise you will no doubt want to focus on developing the children’s empathy. You could encourage them to think about what makes people happy and how young lives can be helped by projects funded by BBC Children in Need. If you would like to explore this theme further, then you should explore Growing Up Around the World;  the resource aims to help UK children to understand the realities of childhood in very different contexts. 

Busy Things have several recipes you could download and follow if you are baking with children at school. Visit the “Special Events” tab and you will find recipes for Red Monster Pizza, Monster Banana Cakes and Pinkman Cupcakes. You could also use the Busy Things Publisher to design posters to publicise the events you are holding within school and one of the maps of The British Isles to get a sense of the distance travelled by the Rickshaw Challenge.

The Rickshaw Challenge was started nine years ago; Matt Baker, from The One Show, and a team of young volunteers set off in this year’s challenge on Friday, 8th November, 2019. They will be riding 400 miles, over 8 days, across Britain. The team start in Holyhead, Wales, and are hoping to raise lots of money for Children in Need, as they make their way to the finish at BBC Elstree Studios. A team of engineers at McLaren were responsible for the custom built Children in Need rickshaw. This means that pretty much anyone can ride it.

‘I’m determined to prove that being blind should never be a barrier and I’m really looking forward to being part of Team Rickshaw.’ Kelsey , Rickshaw Challenge Rider, 2019 

By taking part in Children in Need your pupils will gain so much too!  They can be involved in planning an event, counting the money they’ve raised and so much more and will be empowered, encouraged and motivated to work as a team.

Since their first major Appeal in 1980, BBC Children in Need has raised over £1 billion to help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK. 

This year’s Children in Need Appeal Show night will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm on Friday 15th November 2019.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week and share via our Twitter and Facebook pages, or using the hashtag #ChildreninNeed