International Literacy Day 8th September 2019

September 8th marks UNESCO’s International Literacy day, raising awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and child literacy. First held in 1966 and now part of the UN’s sustainable development goals program adopted in 2015, International Literacy day highlights the changes and improvements being made worldwide in literacy development.

International Literacy Day 2019 is an opportunity to express solidarity with the celebrations of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages(link is external)and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education, at which the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education was adopted.  International Literacy Day 2019 will focus on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

On the occasion of International Literacy Day 2019, the main characteristics of multilingualism in today’s globalised and digitalised world will be discussed, together with their implications for literacy in policies and practice in order to achieve greater inclusion in multilingual contexts.

LGfL have a range of resources to support not just International Literacy day but with Literacy throughout the curriculum.

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including:

j2write J2write enables schools to meet the literacy requirements of the national curriculum programmes of study for KS1, KS2 and KS3. From writing to animation, recording speech, mixing it up and blogging. J2write adds a framework around the most popular writing tools within j2e providing lesson plans and examples. Whether you are using JIT with early years, j2bloggy with Year 6 or above, or something in-between, there is a set of lesson plans to help you get started. There are sections on learning objectives and outcomes, cross curricular links, extension activities, and assessment. The detailed lesson plans help you though classroom use of the tools, step by step. They can easily be adapted to work with whatever topic your class is currently working on

Spell blast is a fantastic interactive way of learning spellings, pupils can either go live, choose from a level and teachers can also set their own spelling lists for classes/year groups. Using their USO log in means that children can access the resource at home and at school.

 

Busy Things have a vast range of resources that support Literacy across the Primary phase.

In teacher mode – teachers are able to use either the Curriculum search and find activities linked to the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2 as well as the EYFS framework or able to enter a search term e.g. phonics and find a range of activities that meet this search.

Phonics maker enables teachers to create their own phonics resources for their students, the resource includes grapheme cards, letter formation, missing letters and matching all linked to Letters and Sounds Phases 1-5 as well as teachers being able to choose their own content if they follow a different scheme. The video below gives an overview on how to make the most of this fantastic resource.

Busy Paint and Publisher has 100 of templates to use across the curriculum with easy to use features. The video below gives an overview of how to make use of this fantastic resource:

Linked into the theme of multilingualism, BusyThings resources also cover French and Spanish with a range of activities that can be used across the key stages.

Or why not get creative with Adobe Spark, we loved seeing a tweet from @FunkyPedagogy, who shared her Word of the Week resources they used last year all using Adobe Spark and all kindly uploaded for teachers to look/use adapt/ignore as you like! You can find them via her tweet here. You can see an example below, but this is just one of the many great ways that you can make use of Adobe within the classroom, don’t forget to claim your Adobe licences as part of your LGfL subscription here.

Listening books offers over 100 curriculum based audio books, titles can be streamed direct for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones. These are excellent to listen to in class or to support SEND learners with literacy or for those who need some calming down time for their wellbeing. Listening Books is a charity and these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability of mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

  1. Log onto the Listening Books website with your LGfL USO account.
  2. Search the catalogue for a book to which you would like to listen.
  3. Press the ‘play’ symbol and the book will begin!

You are able to view a full list of the books available on the summary page here.

Alongside Listening Books, you can also access 15 free e books from Rising Stars for ages 7-14. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each book also comes with teacher’s notes and activities meaning that they are ideal  for use with 1:1 as well as during guided reading sessions.

The Whole Story resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller, and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum. Structured thoughts and examples on how to take hidden and or less obvious stimulus within an image or object offer new opportunities for teachers to explore with their learners.

Fairy tales – Each of the six fairy tales is broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words.

This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols. Animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners. Within each story, pupils can choose their own motivator, which rewards them as they successfully complete activities, and there are four ability levels for even further differentiation.

In the same format as Fairy Tales, Early Shakespeare takes two favourite Shakespeare plays – Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  SEN assist have transformed them into literacy exercises that are likely to prove popular with pupils across the ability spectrum. The two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all.

For creating, Super Action Comic Maker is great for Art and for Literacy, allowing pupils to bring their own superhero to life and not only add and customise backgrounds and superheroes, but also speech and effect bubbles to create a narrative.

Picture book maker is an online tool that allows children to create their own picture books based on the children’s illustrator Sarah Dyer, all set in London Zoo another great resource to use not only on International Literacy Day but throughout the year.

Don’t forget we also have a 5 Ways to support Literacy , the aim of 5 ways is to showcase five ways to use LGfL resources across the curriculum that you can take and use and share for example, they can be shared in the staff room, at INSET sessions and also given to parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home.

There are also a range of tools that you can use for Literacy, one of our favourites is Book Creator, book creator one for the ipad is free as is the online version if you make 40 books. This is a great tool to use to create cross curricular books within class, there is an excellent blog post entitled 50 ways to use book creator in your classroom that has a range of ideas. Describing words does what the title suggests, students can enter nouns into the search bar and then are presented with a range of adjectives – great for inspiring descriptive writing and poetry.

Literacy Apps from the National Literacy Trust, is a guide that aims to help parents and teachers get the most out of apps that support language and literacy development. Some of the apps recommended in this guide need to be paid for and some offer further in app purchases.

Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. They curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories, it is also free for any educational setting. You can search art work, as well completing challenges and reading guides to inspire writing of different genres. The blog also features a weekly prompt which could be used as an early work exercise or for homework.

What are you doing for International Day of Literacy, do let us know by sharing your ideas and work via our Facebook and Twitter or in the comments below.

Pyjamarama 3rd – 9th June 2019

This week is Pyjamarama from The Book Trust– it is all about celebrating bedtime stories and sharing fantastic books and rhymes, with fun-filled events and activities from 3-9 June 2019.

The chosen book for Pyjamarama 2019 is, Car, Car, Truck, Jeep by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt, published by Bloomsbury. The Book Trust partners are helping to give out 450,000 copies of this book, so head to your local library, Children’s Centre or community setting this June to get your hands on one! You can also listen to a copy of the book below:

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There are also some fantastic activities and handy resources to help you celebrate at home or at a special event. There’s a starry headband to make and decorate, a pair of PJs to colour in and great bedtime rhymes to say or sing.  On Friday 7th June, they are teaming up with some of your favourite children’s characters – Matilda, Ben and Holly, Horrid Henry and Tracy Beaker – to get the nation’s children (and adults) wearing pyjamas for a day. You can register here.

When it comes to sharing books, stories and rhymes, LGfL have a range of resources to support you not only during this week, but across the school year.

Listening Books

Listening Books was founded in 1959 as a charity, and was originally set up for hospital patients who couldn’t read after an accident. Today, they cover the full range of print impairments, so are for anybody who finds it difficult to read. To learn more about the service LGfL and Listening Books provide, watch the clip below:

The books hosted on LGfL’s Listening Books are directly linked to the national curriculum in some way, as well as other books chosen with the children in mind. There are currently 95 books (this portfolio is constantly expanding) that can be streamed from the LGfL website directly for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones.

There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, in subjects such as history, PSHE and English, many of which are exclusive to Listening Books! Titles available include:

  • An Inconvenient Truth: the Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Made on Earth by Wolfgang Korn
  • Math Magicians by Johnny Ball
  • The Great Depression and the America’s 1929  1939 by Nick Fellows
  • How 2 Be Happy by Jenny Alexander
  • Tales From Africa by Kathleen Arnott
  • Wise Guides: Self Esteem by Anita Naik

Louise Barling (Library and PR Manager at Listening Books) explains more about the access to Listening Books depending on the type of school you work in:

She also discusses the advantages of listening to audio books (in conjunction with the printed text) in terms of decoding and comprehension. This is particularly true for students who struggle with reading as the service allows the pupils to access age appropriate texts that independently they would struggle to access.

All these features clips and several more regarding the Listening Books resources can be found on LGfL TV. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

Talking Stories

Talking Stories from 2 Simple are available for KS1, Years 3 and 5 and also as a multi-modal resource that fits in with the Literacy curriculum. Titles include: The Great Fire of London, A Trip Down the Thames, Orpheus – A Greek Myth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

P.B. Bear Interactive Adventures

Books and stories are familiar starting points for cross curricular work, allowing children to make connections in their learning and to put their learning in a relevant context. P.B. Bear’s interactive adventures uses video in the same way.  Each story is surrounded by activities linked to early learning goals and to literacy or numeracy objectives.

The videos can be used in two ways: you can watch straight through, or click on one of the ‘hotspots’, this will stop the video and an activity, coming naturally out of the story, will appear over the video.

ebooks by Rising Stars

Rising Stars have joined with LGfL to offer schools 15 free eBooks from the Rising Stars range, each developed to engage reluctant readers aged 7 to 14+. Digital reading has been recognised as helping to close the gender gap in reading ability between boys and girls. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each eBook features age-appropriate story lines and controlled language levels that support struggling readers and motivate switched-off readers, they also come with a set of teacher notes and related activities that can be used either one to one or as part of a guided reading group.

EYFS Spotlight

EYFS Spotlight is a way of highlighting the many varied resources that LGfL offers to help your Early Years Foundation Stage setting by providing topic maps and planning. This resource aims to filter the extensive collection of LGfL content into popular EYFS themes / topics. The resource is ideal for use in primary schools and Early Years settings.

Within each category you’ll find a variety of links to LGfL resources and suggested teaching ideas on how to use them within your Early Years setting. The Fairy Tales topic covers story sequencing and structure, retelling and creating traditional tales as well as looking at real life royalty, perfect to use during this week.

ReadingZone Live

ReadingZone Live brings regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators (Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Lauren Child and Oliver Jeffers to name a few) to London schools through our partnership with ReadingZone. The aim of the programme is to help inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and to develop their own creative writing.

Our next ReadingZone Live event is on the 12th June from 2:30pm and features the author Christopher Edge who writes science-based fiction for 9/10+ readers. It is really easy to take part in one of our ReadingZone Live events and they can have a real impact on both the students and reading within your school. For more detailed guidance please read this updated information. You can also view the event on the day here: www.rzlwatch.lgfl.net starting at 2:30 pm. More details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here. We also have a collaborative question document here where your students can pose their questions for Christopher.

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook pages.

World Book Day – 7th March 2019

World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 22nd year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 7th March 2019, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

The theme this year is ‘Share a story’ to encourage everyone to share their story, and this year they have added a brand new series of creative, inspiring and interactive films for you to screen in class at ANY TIME that suits you. These 12 films are in an exciting new format which will inspire all students aged 5-12, whether they’re reluctant readers or aspiring authors and illustrators! Featuring incredible authors and illustrators including Lauren Child, Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Sibéal Pounder, Jeff Kinney and Chris Riddell, every film comes with FREE classroom resources too!

The World Book Day website is packed with resources for Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools with lesson plans, activity sheets, assembly plans, discussion guides and much more for you to use on the day. 

There is also a World Book Day – Live Lesson at 2 pm on the 7th March, hosted by CBBC’s Ben Shires, designed to tie in with the curriculum for English and Literacy at KS2. Students will be challenged to share stories and complete fun reading and writing activities in order to help Ben save World Book Day. Also joining in with the Live Lesson will be famous World Book Day authors and illustrators Malorie Blackman, Rob Biddulph and Cressida Cowell, who will be there to answer your questions. Schools can send in questions to live.lessons@bbc.co.uk for a chance to have them answered live, you can also write in if you will be watching live with a short message as well as your class and school name. There will also be a range of resources to support the live lesson published nearer the day.

Reading Zone Live from LGfL is the perfect resource to use within your class on World Book day, the site is packed with interviews with authors including: Michael Murpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there are also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  Our next Reading Zone Live event is with the author Sibeal Pounder on the 15th March 2019, you can find out more information and how to watch here.

Busy Things have a wide range of resources to support reading and writing across the primary range. Paint and publish has 100’s of templates to choose from with easy to use features that children can use to create their own stories. They have also handpicked a series of resources for World book day, as you can see below.

Or why not use the j2etool suite to complete one of the following activities: You could have a vote on World Book Day as to who the favourite author is in your class or school, ask the children to write a book review or a biography of their favourite author using j2e and finally they could use the tools in JIT to create an alternative book cover or design their own character. The tool suite includes templates that can be used on World book day and this will be live from 1st March.

The whole story resource from LGfL aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum.

Another fantastic resource to use on World Book Day is Listening books, these popular audio books for KS2-KS5 pupils are fantastic for supporting SEND pupils and feature both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Or use Talking Stories 1, Talking Stories 2, Talking stories 3 from 2Simple, on World Book day, featuring stories that include: Orpheus and Eurydice, The Wishing Tree, Sherlock Holmes, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Great Fire of London, these resources include teacher notes and lesson plans.

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) have a wide range of free resources for World Book day, for tips on running a successful day, developing a Reading for Pleasure school all year around and engaging parents with books and literacy. The resources for schools contain easy and fun activities based on key themes of create, discover, experience, explore and imagine.

BBC Teach have put together a great collection of resources for Primary and Secondary pupils, perfect for inspiring your class.  Featuring awesome authors, authors live and a selection of well-known stories retold and brought to life in short animated films there is something for everyone.

The author Jo Cotterill has come up. with a fantastic range of World Book Day Alternative ideas, these include Potato and Egg characters, donate a book and build a book scene in a box you can see these ideas and more here.

Or why not go behind the scenes to learn how stories come alive in a free 30-minute classroom broadcast with Cressida Cowell, the author & illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series with Microsoft. The broadcast will air on 6th March at 2pm and also 6 pm GMT, each will be followed by a live Q and A and it is free to register.

Cressida will inspire students to tap into their boundless imagination and will show how using character development and details in stories make them more believable and fun.  There are also a range of resources to use to get your class ready or to use after the broadcast.

To celebrate World Book Day, Night Zookeeper are giving you the chance of winning a class set of books and a free school workshop from the author of the storybook series, Joshua Davidson. To enter, simply email hello@nightzookeeper.com with the subject line: World Book Day! The team will be announcing the winner of the competition on Thursday 7th March! Good luck to everyone entering!

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see pictures and work  please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WorldBookDay2019

National Storytelling week 27th January – 3rd February 2019

The Society For Storytelling, is a UK-based society founded in 1993. Open to anyone with an interest in the form, they  coordinate National Storytelling Week, which this year runs from the 27th January to the 3rd of February, their mission is to promote the oral tradition of storytelling which was the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination. Storytelling has been shown by studies to aid learning in children for history, increase interest in science and have a positive effect on memory. When the students do the storytelling, it can encourage higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition. The Society for Storytelling has a range of resources on their website including fact sheets on hosting a story telling week as well as a list of storytellers that are available to come into schools during the week.

This year the society is posing the question what stories will you let out of the box. Remember everyone has at least one story to tell. It exists in the very air around you – Your story is the one you know best and as it is only the beginning, the stories you will tell might begin with…Once upon a time or not in my time, not in your time but in someone’s time…

LGfL have a range of resources that can support you and your students during this week.

You could use Space Adventures Mission to the Moon as your story of the week, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe. It features dramatic content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative.  The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding?

Or why not re tell the Story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon Fafnir, using both AR and VR the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale and then making use of the green screen pack that is included, they can retell this ancient tale, making use of the high quality graphics and audio included to bring their story to life.

The whole story resource features a professional storyteller offering his advice to teachers on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum using images, objects and structure, the resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller, and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum.

 

Children can use Audio Network to search for music that will form the back drop to their own stories or to stories that they are retelling, the network features over 50,000 individual audio files and then their stories and audio can be uploaded into Video Central. Video Central HD offers an easy-to-use web-based solution which allows teachers in London to share video and audio files with students, colleagues and partner schools. Video and audio files are uploaded using a secure web interface then encoded automatically for fast, efficient web streaming. Or why not make use of the BBC Sound Effects Archive – this large database of audio sound effects can be used within a wide range of applications in an educational context.  Many sounds have multiple version to suit different uses and help enhance videos and stories.

‘A picture paints a thousand words’ why not use one of the thousands of pictures available from LGfL Image bank which contains high resolution licence images from a variety of LGfL content provider partners including: Royal Collection Trust and the British Library. These would be excellent to pose questions such as what is happening? What happened before the painting? What happened after? Where are the people going?

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well known authors in ReadingZone Live, children can get tips on writing from Anthony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffers and Cressida Cowell to name a few.  There are specific sections focussing on genre, planning, character and writing which can be searched via a new writing area.

Children could make use of the writing tools with j2e tool suite to write and illustrate their story using either j2e5 or in JIT and then can blog it straight away to give their story a wider audience. Or why not use Busy things, their paint and publisher program would be excellent to use and they also have a short story template that could also be used during the week.

Early Years practitioners could make use of our Fairy Tales resource and then re tell their favourite Fairy Tale using JIT.  You could also make use of Talking Stories during this week, Talking Stories 1 is ideal for KS1 and covers a range of online talking books also available in a variety of languages.  Talking Stories 2 contains multi-modal resources that covers Shakespeare, Coleridge and Sherlock Holmes, while Talking Stories 3 have a range of interactive stories and traditional tales including Orpheus and Eurydice, The Parrots and the Raja and the Wishing tree, downloadable resources and planning are available for all stories.

Another fantastic resource to use during this week is Listening books, these audiobooks are great to use for SEND students as well as during whole class sessions.  Titles can be streamed direct for group listening or for individuals to listen with headphones.

There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • British History Makers: King Henry VIII by Leon Ashworth
  • GCSE English: Of Mice and Men: The Text Guide by Coordination Group Publications
  • Secrets of the Rainforest: Predators and Prey by Michael Chinery
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • An Inconvenient Truth: the Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • Dates with History: 6th August 1945 The Bombing of Hiroshima by John Malam
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Elements in Poetry: Poems about Fire edited by Andrew Fusek Peters
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

500 Words from the BBC is another great resource to use to help children tell their story, the competition will open for the ninth year later this month. However, the site has a range of resources and ideas as well as being able to listen to previous winning entries that children can use to inspire their own story writing. Another great competition and resource is The Wicked Young Writer Awards which is open until 18th March, the Wicked Young Writer Awards is a chance for young people aged between 5 and 25, to write about absolutely anything!  It’s their chance to get creative and write on any theme that interests them. You can find out more about the awards here

The fantastic Literacy Shed have also got a great blog post about why stories are important with some brilliant practical ideas.

We would love to hear some of your stories – why not share them on our twitter feed or our Facebook page #NationalStorytellingWeek

 

National Non-Fiction November

National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to bring non fiction celebration in line with those of fiction.

The theme they have chosen for National Non-Fiction November (NNFN) for this special 50th anniversary year is ‘Food and Festivals Around the World’. Food is a necessary requirement for keeping healthy and, in the case of children, for growing and developing. It is also associated with celebrations and festivals around the world. Young people enjoy having the opportunity to grow their own food and to learn how to prepare food and cook for themselves, and they hope that one of the outcomes of NNFN will be the creation of some fabulous recipe books to share. They also hope that the theme will provide an opportunity for children to explore the everyday food enjoyed at home and by different cultures, in addition to finding out about the special foods associated with the festivals of the major religions.

To tie in with this year’s Food and Festivals Around the World theme, they are running a competition, open to children’s book groups, schools and libraries in the UK, the challenge is to design a birthday cake for their very special celebration – the Golden Anniversary of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. The design can be for a single, double or triple tier cake, or if preferred, a shaped cake. It could include the FCBG logo, feature their mascot bear #FedTed or be decorated with gold. Alternatively, the cake could be inspired by a favourite book, book character or author, or based on the Federation’s aim to bring children and books together.  You can find out more details and how to enter the competition here.

Perfect to use during this month to help children create their own recipes would be Cookit from E2BN.  The primary purpose of Cookit is to improve pupils’ skills, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating.  The site provides support for the teaching and learning of a wide range of basic skills and processes.  It encourages and inspires learners to explore cooking and to create and share their own recipes.

 

Once children have researched and found out about different recipes they could then use the j2write tools within the j2 tool suite to produce their recipe books.

Espresso faiths would be perfect to use with children to explore different festivals during Non-Fiction November.  Espresso Faiths covers the six major world faiths – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism – by looking at these faiths within London communities.  This is a joint production with espresso and is available to all LGfL-connected schools, irrespective of whether or not they take out a subscription to espresso.

Busythings have a range of resources that could be used during the month including making a Pizza or a tasty pancake game for Early years to a writing template for older students to write about their favourite meal.

ReadingZone Live also features non-fiction authors that could be used during the month. Oliver Jeffers who published his first non-fiction book Here we are, earlier this year said:

“It started off as a book about the realisation that new life is a blank slate (trying to explain what a door is, and what a kitchen is for), and the strangeness of being a new parent. But as the book unfolded, so did the global events of the last year or so, and it felt like it became more urgent to reinforce some basic things my parents taught me about the simple principles of humanity. I wanted my son to know that while we are all unique individuals, we are all in this together.”

You can watch the part 2 of the Reading Zone Live featuring Oliver Jeffers below:

As well as Oliver Jeffers there are other authors within Reading Zone Live that look at non-fiction resources, why not look at Andy Seed to look at how you can make non-fiction books interesting as well as what advice he would give for someone writing a non-fiction book.

You can also use your LGfL USO account to access over 100 curriculum based audio books, through Listening books. These are a great tool for using with your students who have SEND or an illness which makes it difficult for them to read.  There are several non fiction books available that you can listen to during the month including: Horrible Histories, Coming to England, Mathmagicians and Why is snot green and other extremely important questions.

As well as listening to books, you can download two non fiction books from within our Ebooks from Rising Stars, Graphic novels and fast cars are available to download and both books also come with teacher notes and guidance, perfect to use in guided reading sessions.

Non- fiction texts also feature in Talking Stories, Talking stories 1 is perfect for KS1 and one of the stories is all about the Great Fire of London, while Talking stories 2, features cooks and cooking that perfectly ties in with the theme for this year, lesson plans for Year 3 and 4 are also included for this book.

 

The Literacy Shed blog has a great post entitled: With Google at our fingertips, do we still need non-fiction texts? The post includes a short video and recommendations of non-fiction books for the primary classroom.

Whatever you decide to do during National Non-Fiction November, the month provides a great opportunity to promote reading non-fiction for pleasure, to allow young readers to indulge in fascination for facts and to celebrate, the breadth, depth and richness of non-fiction writing, illustrating and publishing for children and young people. (NNFN website)

Please let us know via our Twitter and Facebook pages or leave us a comment here to let us know what you are doing for Non Fiction November.

 

International day of Literacy – September 8th

September 8th marks UNESCO’s International Literacy day, raising awareness globally on the issues surrounding adult and child literacy. First held in 1966 and now part of the UN’s sustainable development goals program adopted in 2015, International Literacy day highlights the changes and improvements being made worldwide in literacy development.

Since 1967, International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. The International Conference on ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ will explore ways to make effective connections between literacy and technical and vocational skills in policies, practice, systems and governance.

LGfL have a range of resources to support not just International Literacy day but with Literacy throughout the curriculum.

j2e Tool suite offers a range of resources including JIT, j2e5, j2 office. J2 write also provides teachers with a range of lesson plans to get started as well as examples of use and templates. Spell blast is a fantastic interactive way of learning spellings, pupils can either go live, choose from a level and teachers can also set their own spelling lists for classes/year groups.

Busy Things have a vast range of resources that support Literacy across the Primary phase including Phonics maker, word reading, comprehension, transcription, handwriting and presentation, composition, vocabulary and grammar games, and desktop publishing templates that are cross curricular.

Listening books offers over 100 curriculum based audio books, titles can be streamed direct for group listening in class or for individuals to listen with headphones. These are excellent to listen to in class or to support SEND learners with literacy.

To listen to a book follow the steps below:

  1. Log onto the Listening Books website with your LGfL USO account.
  2. Search the catalogue for a book to which you would like to listen.
  3. Press the ‘play’ symbol and the book will begin!

You can also access 15 free e books from Rising Stars for ages 7-14. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each book also comes with teacher’s notes and activities meaning that they are ideal  for use with 1:1 as well as during guided reading sessions.

The Whole Story resource aims to explore how storytelling can maximise the creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller, and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum. Structured thoughts and examples on how to take hidden and or less obvious stimulus within an image or object offer new opportunities for teachers to explore with their learners.

Fairy tales – Each of the six fairy tales is broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words.

This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all. Pupils can watch at their own pace, and opt to turn on or off the accompanying text and symbols.Animated characters bring each scene to life, with differentiated activities to help include all learners. Within each story, pupils can choose their own motivator, which rewards them as they successfully complete activities, and there are four ability levels for even further differentiation.

In the same format as Fairy Tales, Early Shakespeare takes two favourite Shakespeare plays (Romeo & Juliet and AMidsummer Night’s Dream) and SEN assist have transformed them into literacy exercises that are likely to prove popular with pupils across the ability spectrum. the two plays are broken down into one bite-sized sentence per scene, using the first 100 high-frequency words. This allows learners to easily follow, understand and remember the stories, and helps ensure access to the curriculum for all.

For creating, Super Action Comic Maker is great for Art and for Literacy, allowing pupils to bring their own superhero to life and not only add and customise backgrounds and superheroes, but also speech and effect bubbles to create a narrative. Picture book maker is an online tool that allows children to create their own picture books based on the children’s illustrator Sarah Dyer.

Don’t forget we also have a 5 Ways to support Literacy , the aim of 5 ways is to showcase five ways to use LGfL resources across the curriculum that you can take and use and share for example, they can be shared in the staff room, at INSET sessions and also given to parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home.

There are also a range of tools that you can use for Literacy, one of our favourites is Book Creator, book creator one for the ipad is free as is the online version if you make 40 books. This is a great tool to use to create cross curricular books within class, there is an excellent blog post entitled 50 ways to use book creator in your classroom that has a range of ideas. Describing words does what the title suggests, students can enter nouns into the search bar and then are presented with a range of adjectives – great for inspiring descriptive writing and poetry.

Literacy Apps from the National Literacy Trust, is a guide that aims to help parents and teachers get the most out of apps that support language and literacy development. Some of the apps recommended in this guide need to be paid for and some offer further in app purchases.

Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. They curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories, it is also free for any educational setting. You can search art work, as well completing challenges and reading guides to inspire writing of different genres. The blog also features a weekly prompt which could be used as an early work exercise or for homework.

What are you doing for International Day of Literacy, do let us know by sharing your ideas and work via our Facebook and Twitter or in the comments below.

National Bookstart Week 2018

Every year, BookTrust organises National Bookstart Week to celebrate the joys and benefits of sharing books, stories and rhymes with your little ones from as early an age as possible – it’s never too early to start!

The theme for this year is Bookstart Bird Boogie and the chosen book is the brilliant A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins. It’s a wonderfully colourful rhyming book about being a bird for a day, full of actions to do and sounds to make – and it’s fantastic to read together.

National Bookstart Week will take place from 4-10 June and there will be hundreds of Bookstart Bird Boogie events up and down the country, including bird-themed Rhymetimes and Storytimes, craft and music sessions, face-painting and even birds of prey displays. Just contact your local library or children’s centre to find out what’s happening near you.

At each event you can get a free copy of A Busy Day for Birds, thanks to support from Walker Books. BookTrust is giving away over 450,000 copies, so be sure to head along to an event to pick up yours.

You can also watch a reading of A busy day for Birds read by Ore Oduba below, there are also craft and colouring activities and bird-themed rhymes for you to use they can all be downloaded here.

When it comes to sharing books, stories and rhymes, LGfL have a range of resources to support you not only during this week, but across the school year.

Listening books

Use your LGfL USO account to access over 100 curriculum-based audiobooks. These are a great tool for use with your students who have SEND or an illness which makes it difficult for them read. Listening Books opens up the wonderful world of books to people who find it difficult to read in the usual way. They support the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level and have a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature.

It is easy to listen to an audio book,

  1. Log onto the Listening Books website with your LGfL USO account.
  2. Search the catalogue for a book to which you would like to listen.
  3. Press the ‘play’ symbol and the book will begin!

Talking stories

Talking stories from 2 Simple are available for KS1, Years 3 and 5 and also as a multi-modal resource that fits in with the Literacy curriculum. Titles include: The Great Fire of London, A trip down the Thames, Orpheus – A Greek Myth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ebooks by Rising Stars

 

Rising Stars have joined with LGfL to offer schools 15 free eBooks from the Rising Stars range, each developed to engage reluctant readers aged 7 to 14+. Digital reading has been recognised as helping to close the gender gap in reading ability between boys and girls. These eBooks can be used on any device, from PCs and netbooks to iPads and Kindles. Each eBook features age-appropriate story lines and controlled language levels that support struggling readers and motivate switched-off readers, they also come with a set of teacher notes and related activities that can be used either one to one or as part of a guided reading group.

Reading Zone Live

ReadingZone Live is a development of the existing partnership between LGfL and www.Readingzone.com and brings regular interviews and live video conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors to London schools.

Antony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffers, Cressida Cowell, Tony Ross and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme, which is helping inspire young people to explore new authors andgenres and to develop their own creative writing.

You can also watch the next Reading Zone Live event on the 13th June, which features the author Philip Reeve on 13thJune from 2:20 pm. Philip Reeve is a celebrated author, best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which is being adapted for screen by Peter Jackson and will be released in December 2018. He won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize with his Mortal Engines series, as well as the Nestlé Book Prize – Gold Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award.

His most recent series Railhead is a space opera with intergalactic trains, dazzling worlds, and extraordinary characters. The first book in the series was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie award and the latestbook in the series Station Zero publishes in May 2018.

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook pages.

 

 

National Storytelling Week – 27th January – 3rd February 2018

2018 marks the 18th Year of National Storytelling week and is celebrated by all ages enjoying- Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea. The week is held by The Society For Storytelling, their mission is to promote the oral tradition of storytelling which was the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination.

Storytelling has been shown by studies to aid learning in children for history, increase interest in science and have a positive effect on memory. When the students do the storytelling, it can encourage higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis, as well as skills in oral composition.

Remember everyone has at least one story to tell. It exists in the very air around you – Your story is the one you know best and as it is only the beginning, the stories you will tell might begin with…Once upon a time or not in my time, not in your time but in someone’s time…

LGfL have a range of resources that can support you and your students during this week.

Why not re tell the Story of Sigurd and the Dragon, a classic Norse tale of how Sigurd killed the greedy dragon Fafnir, using both AR and VR the children can be transported back 1,000 years to listen to this tale and then make use of the green screen pack that is included can re tell this ancient tale.

Children can use Audio Network to search for music that will form the back drop to their own stories, the network features over 50,000 individual audio files, or as a backdrop to stories that they are re telling and then their stories and audio can be uploaded into Video Central. Video Central HD offers an easy-to-use web-based solution which allows teachers in London to share video and audio files with students, colleagues and partner schools.Video and audio files are uploaded using a secure web interface then encoded automatically for fast, efficient web streaming.

Children can also get advice on how to create their stories by well known authors in ReadingZone Live, children can get tips on writing from Anthony Horowitz, Oliver Jeffers and Cressida Cowell to name a few.  They can also listen to stories via Listening books and also Talking stories.  For inspiration in the Early years, why not use Fairy Tales and ask the children to re tell their favourite tale.

The Society for Storytelling also has a range of resources to support schools during this week and there are a range of lesson plans from Mensa for Kids on The Art of Storytelling.

500 Words from the BBC is another great resource to use to help children tell their story, the site has a range of resources and ideas as well as being able to listen to previous winning entries that children can use to inspire their own story writing.

The Wicked Young Writer Awards are also open until 18th March – Now in its 8th year, the Wicked Young Writer Awards is a chance for young people aged between 5 and 25, to write about absolutely anything! It’s their  chance to get creative and write on any theme that interests them. You can find out more about the awards here

We would love to hear some of your stories – why not share them on our twitter feed or our Facebook page.

National Non Fiction November

National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, the brain child of Adam Lancaster during his years as Chair, the whole month now celebrates all those readers that have a passion for information and facts and attempts to bring non fiction celebration in line with those of fiction.

The theme for this year is The World Around Us. Focusing on books that explore different natural environments and their flora and fauna. Through their engagement with books, the federation hope that young readers will:

  • be encouraged to look more closely at the world around them;
  • develop their natural curiosity and want to find out more for themselves;
  • expand their knowledge and build their expertise in topics of personal interest;
  • be inspired to take care of the natural world;
  • think about what action they could take to help protect endangered environments and species.

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups has produced a range of resources that teachers and children can use during the month. This includes a range of posters, bookmarks and suggested books for in the classroom. They have also produced a booklist of 100 brilliant non-fiction books for children and young people.

You can celebrate Non-Ficion November by joining us for our next Reading Zone Live with Oliver Jeffers.

We would love you to join in with this event and there are a number of ways you can do this:

  • If you have access to Video conferencing (VC) facilities you can link with the live event by emailing contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • If you do not have access to VC, you can e mail questions in advance to contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • You can watch the event live from 2:20 pm on the 15th November by clicking here. The linkwill enable to watch the live stream at 2:20pm on the day.
  • Tweet us before and during the event using the hashtag #RZL to @LGfL on Twitter or ourFacebook page.

Oliver has just published his first non-fiction book Here we are:

“It started off as a book about the realization that new life is a blank slate (trying to explain what a door is, and what a kitchen is for), and the strangeness of being a new parent. But as the book unfolded, so did the global events of the last year or so, and it felt like it became more urgent to reinforce some basic things my parents taught me about the simple principles of humanity. I wanted my son to know that while we are all unique individuals, we are all in this together.”

Listening Books available through LGfL have over100 curriculum based audiobook by simply logging on with their LGfL username and password. Two new releases to the LGfL Listening Book catalogue of audio books. “Why is Snot Green? And Other Extremely Important Questions” and “Inventors and their Bright Ideas” You can find out more about Listening Books in this blog post.

Other non-fiction resources available from LGfL include: Ebooks from Rising Stars, Talking stories and Inclusive resources.

Our history topics of The Romans in London, The Tudors in London, The Royal Mews and Polar Exploration all include lessons plans on the retrieval and recording of information from non-fiction sources.

Please let us know via our Twitter and Facebook pages or leave us a comment here to let us know what you are doing for Non Fiction November.

 

Listening Books Update

The long standing partnership between London Grid for Learning and Listening Books ensures that LGfL teachers are able to have access to over 100 curriculum based audiobook by simply logging on with their LGfL username and password.

If you are not aware of Listening Books, it is a charity providing a service for people with print impairments. Reading is essential for any child’s success. All too often, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never may never overcome them. Listening Books offers audiobooks which can be used with children and young people who struggle to read books in the usual way due to an illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty.

Listening Books are proud to announce 2 new releases to the LGfL Listening Book catalogue of audio books. “Why is Snot Green? And Other Extremely Important Questions” and “Inventors and their Bright Ideas”

Children with special educational needs such as dyslexia often find ‘decoding’ words can be a barrier that gets in the way of their understanding and enjoyment of a text. They can end up feeling left behind, dejected and lacking in confidence. Audiobooks remove these barriers by replacing the written word with a spoken voice, enabling pupils to visualise a story and glean meaning from the words. Reading along with the audio can help with word recognition and reading speed while being able to keep up with peers can have a visible impact on self-esteem.

Listening Books support the National Curriculum from Key Stage 2 to A-Level and have a huge range of fiction and non-fiction titles for both adults and children. Listening to audiobooks allows children and young people to listen to the same books their friends and peers are reading, improve comprehension and word recognition as well as helping to instil a greater understanding and enjoyment of literature. For older members, audiobooks, as well as being an enjoyable activity, can for some provide welcome relief from pain, boredom and loneliness, lifting them out of what are often challenging circumstances.

There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • British History Makers: King Henry VIII by Leon Ashworth
  • GCSE English: Of Mice and Men: The Text Guide by Coordination Group Publications
  • Secrets of the Rainforest: Predators and Prey by Michael Chinery
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • Dates with History: 6th August 1945 The Bombing of Hiroshima by John Malam
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Elements in Poetry: Poems about Fire edited by Andrew Fusek Peters
  • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

All you need is to enter your LGfL username and password and this will bring you straight through to the Listening Books library. All of the titles here are available to stream 24 hours a day.
Any questions please get in touch.