Remembrance Day

Armistice day or Remembrance Day is on the 11th November, it marks the day that World War 1 ended at 11 am on the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. Ceremonies are held at the Cenotaph in London as well as at War memorials and churches across the U.K. and overseas. A 2 minute silence is held to remember the people who have died in all wars – WW1, WW2, Falklands, Gulf war as well as the conflicts in Argentina and Iraq.

King George V held the first 2 minute silence on 11 November 1919 and made the request for the silence to be observed so:

“thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.

The Royal British Legion have partnered with the National Literacy Trust to create a series of free to use lesson plans and assemblies aimed at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 that can be used to explain to children of different ages and backgrounds why, how and who we Remember.

There are many ways of remembering with pupils, for younger pupils Busy Things have a template poppy to paint, for older students they could make their own poppies – from hand prints and then use these to write poetry on.  In Flanders Fields and Ode to Remembrance are two poems that could be shared with older students, they could use copies of these to create their own ‘black out poetry’ this is when a page of text, is coloured over so that only a few words are visible, these words then create a new poem, great to get the children thinking about the choice of their words. Pupils could use J2E to research and write about the impact of the wars on their local community after perhaps visiting their local war memorial.

Our ReadingZone Live resource features Michael Morpurgo talking about Private Peaceful, there are 6 short interviews that can be watched and used as discussion points looking at why he wrote the book, discussing the conflict and the morality of war and what Michael would like people to take away after reading the book.  Into film also have a range of resources linked to the film adaptation of the book with resources linked to a range of curriculum subjects including Citizenship, English and History.

You can also listen to an abridged version of the story in 13 chapters via BBC School Radio (you will need to sign in to BBC iplayer to listen) there are programme notes, episode summaries, literacy activities and a gallery of images, like the one below great to use for writing and drama prompts.

This resource is just one of many that BBC Teach have collated for both Primary and Secondary students that include Assembly plans as well as radio and tv programmes. Historian and presenter Dan Snow also introduces some of his favourite clips from the BBC archive, perfect for exploring WWII with KS3 and KS4 students the short films are split into two categories – The Home Front and The Holocaust.

Widgit – have a range of Activities and books on Remembrance Day as well as WW1 and WW2 to support learners in class.

First World War – The Active Worksheet was produced in response to the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. The resource pack uses augmented reality to produce a genuine ‘wow’ moment in the classroom and bring virtual artefacts to the desktop. This is backed up by mapped curriculum activities focussing on history, literacy, music and art.

Poppies – is a beautiful animation from Cbeebies following a young rabbit through the poppy fields, great to use with younger children.

The author Tom Palmer has a range of resources available to use within the classroom all around the theme of remembrance, linked to books that he has written. Reading War, is an online resource packed with information on WW1 and exploring the themes of Over the Line by Tom Palmer and Tilly’s Promise by Linda Newbery.

Trench experience – this innovative virtual-reality app from LGfL brings life in the trenches to life, and is ideal for History and English teachers covering World War 1 and trench life and warfare in general.

The M room -The M Room resource from LGfL gives exclusive access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners. The resource features an interview with one of the original secret listeners and extensive primary-source material from the Ministry of Defence, relatives of those involved, and The National Archives.

Women in computing -Women in Computing from LGfL aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. The work of women as code breakers during WW2 is one of the areas that is covered within this resource.

Activehistory – There are a collection of Remembrance Day materials here for Years 7- 13, including an assembly, put together by Russell Tarr.

The War and Peace shed from the Literacy Shed, has a range of short films that could be used when looking at the theme of Remembrance. There is also an excellent blog post from the Literacy Leader, including more book and film ideas and resources.

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.’

If you would like to share work with us on our Twitter or Facebook pages, it would be great to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ReadingZone Live With Author Jamia Wilson

Jamia Wilson is one of the latest authors to be added to the collection on ReadingZone Live. Jamia has been a powerful force in the social justice movement for nearly a decade. She is an activist, a feminist, a storyteller, a media-maker but more than anything she is a natural-born thought leader. 

She is a leading voice on feminist and women’s rights issues and her work and words have appeared in, and on, several outlets. These include New York Magazine, The Today Show and The Washington Post.

In her interview, hosted on ReadingZone Live, Jamia talks about giving young people a sense of hope and inspiration and an understanding of their innate sense of their own self-worth.

She holds Anne Frank up as an inspirational role model; she talks about how she had a strong voice even when some people wanted her to be less vocal. 

Her new book ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ is aimed at inspiring readers from all types of backgrounds to get a glimpse into the contributions and lives of black people who have made a real difference in the world (both the familiar household names and some lesser known individuals). Her aim is also to give them a resource to go to when they need to feel a sense of empowerment. 

LGfL hosts a number of resources you could use with pupils to explore some of the issues Jamia explores in her narratives.

For example, if you want to discuss fairness, rights and responsibilities with your class you could use Developing British Values. This resource provides high-quality, safe and relevant teaching materials that foster deeper understanding and informed debate amongst young people.

‘Developing British Values’ is both a standalone learning resource in its own right (via the Core Ideas menu) and also as a gateway to other ideas, assets and materials (via the Related Themes and Further Assets and Resources menus) that can be used for one-off, dedicated activities, or for embedding core themes into a planned series of lessons.

Perhaps the endeavours of the pioneering explorers of the twentieth century could help pupils to further understand how self-determination and aspiration can help people to overcome even the most taxing of circumstances. Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery resource provides a unique insight into the ‘Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery’.

LGfL worked with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University in creating this comprehensive resource, which includes:

  • Video footage of equipment and artefacts from the most famous expeditions, complete with text transcripts of the expert explanations
  • High-resolution photographs of objects featured in the video footage
  • Journal extracts read by a descendant of a member of Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition
  • Interactive map of the Polar Regions with plotted locations of the multimedia assets
  • The opportunity to meet a modern-day polar explorer and hear of his experiences living for extended periods of time in some of the world’s most expreme environments. 
British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13

If you want to further explore the idea of inspirational female role models then Women in Computing explores the role of women in codebreaking at Bletchley Park; they quickly learned the skills necessary to survive in this area and showed tremendous capacity for computational thought.

For a fictional, strong female character you could look at some of the vlogs produced for Space Adventures. The resource is based on the story of Tazz Anderson on her mission to the moon to bring back the valuable raw material ‘Dysprosium’ for use in smart devices back on planet Earth.

Jamia Wilson believes schools could encourage more conversations about difference, inclusion and presentations where they talk through the issues facing society and working towards solutions. She encourages young people to define themselves through their own life rules and by doing so, to live their most powerful life.

Therefore one further resource you may like to further explore with your pupils is Growing Up Around the World; it aims to help UK children understand the realities of childhood in different contexts. Strikingly, many of the struggles and challennges the children encounter are universal, from the UK to South Africa to India.

Please let us know if you use any of these resources or indeed have suggestions for how LGfL could further support you in school by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

National Poetry Day – October 3rd 2019

National Poetry day is on the 3rd October and the theme this year is Truth, 2019 is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry day so expect the celebrations to last all year long not just on the 3rd October.

There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Truth from the National Poetry day website:

  • There are a range of poems around the theme of truth that can be used by pupils on the day
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.
  • Posters for display

The #MyNPDPoem poetry writing challenge is now open, after being launched by Forward Arts Foundation at the CLiPPA ceremony.

In association with CLPE and with the support of ALCS, #MyNPDPoem encourages schools everywhere to create poems, performances, displays and even special poetry books as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for National Poetry Day. To take part, children aged 6 to 13 are invited to write a poem on the NPD theme Truth. They can write individually or with friends and topics could include; the truth about their family, or their school; nature might provide inspiration, provoking a poem about the truths the natural world reveals; perhaps young poets will want to share hidden truths about the way they feel about the world. Or maybe they’ll want to explore the opposite of truth – lies!

CLPE have created a resource to help spark ideas which you can download here. There are also other competitions that students of all ages can take part in you can view all the competitions here. You can also download a certificate of participation to hand out to all students who write and perform a poem

Poets Karl Nova, Michael Rosen, Rachel Rooney, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Joseph Coelho have produced inspirational films, full of advice and ideas.

Once children have written poems, share the best on National Poetry Day by tagging pictures on Instagram or Twitter (@PoetryDayUK) with #MyNPDPoem. Why not hold your own poetry show on National Poetry Day by inviting everyone to perform their poems aloud. Present each young poet with an NPD certificate which can be downloaded here. Schools are also invited to publish the poems as books for pupils to take home to their friends and families, using Scholastic’s We Are Writers scheme. The books can be sold to raise money for the school or other charities.

Everyone who writes an original work automatically owns the copyright, regardless of their age, and #MyNPDPoem is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). Find free resources and information explaining copyright to young people on the ALCS website.

The National Literacy Trust have teamed up with National Poetry Day to create two classroom resources for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. The National Poetry Day lesson plan resources provide a set of activities about fake news versus truth. Students are given an example poem and asked to create their own in a similar style, then perform it.

Each lesson plan includes:

  • A starter to get pupils involved and discussing the topic of fake news
  • A poetry relay activity
  • A writing activity where pupils create their own poem

The activities are clearly linked to the national curriculum for Key Stage 2 and 3. They support learning and developing confidence in writing, storytelling, working together and performance.

They have also worked with professional poet Simon Mole to create a Key Stage 2 lesson plan all about truth, with an accompanying video below, so that you can have a poet in your classroom this National Poetry Day!

The lesson plan includes:

  • A warm up game to introduce the theme of truth
  • A writing activity which asks pupils to write a narrative poem based on a true story
  • Further suggestions for poetry activities and games

They also have lots more brilliant poetry resources from Simon Mole – and they’re all completely free! They also have a book list of brilliant poetry books for children aged 0 to 11 – that you can share with parents so that they can join in with the celebrations.

LGfL also have a range of resources to support you in teaching National Poetry Day:

Our latest Reading Zone Live was with the wonderful Michaela Morgan she is a National Poetry Day Ambassador  and writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry and regularly visits schools to perform and to run story writing or poetry workshops. Her book – Reaching the Stars written in collaboration with the poets Jan Dean and Liz Brownlee, is a collection of poems about extraordinary women some famous, some anonymous, some individual, some representative, some historic, some mythic.

In the videos below you can see a celebration of Poetry and how to get started with writing poems – great to share on National Poetry Day during an assembly or in lessons. The first two are short trailers and the third video explores what is a poet, how do you start to write a poem and does it need to rhyme? Just some of the questions answered by Michaela Morgan during this event celebrating all things poetry, and National Poetry Day, with pupils from Cheam Common Junior Academy. Head to Reading Zone live to see all the videos from the event.

Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe,  is also part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring over 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

Special-guest material features award winning poet Joseph Coelho. There are five pages of tips for exploring and sharing poetry, learning poems by heart, performing poems, prompts to use when writing poetry and tips for learning poetry by heart. Each page features a teaching point as well as short videos.

There are a range of poets within Reading Zone Live that can be used as a starting point for teachers to use when looking at writing poetry and the themes within them. Zaro Weil one of the poets featured in Reading zone Live explains how she begins writing a poem:

 

Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.

J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of truth and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem. Busythings also have a template for children to use to write their favourite poems – you can find this within the special events on the home page.

Listening Books have a collection of favourite classic poets that children can listen to as inspire them on the day, reminder that Listening books is a charity and provided for LGfL subscribers, these books must only be used with students who have an illness, physical or learning disability or mental health condition which impacts on their ability to read or hold a book, and are offered for non-commercial use only.

Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes!  Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!

Places of Poetry  is open to all readers and writers. It aims to use creative writing to prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place. The site is open for writers to pin their poems to places up until the 4 October 2019. It will then be closed for new poems but will remain available for readers. They welcome writers of all ages and backgrounds and want to gather as many perspectives on the places and histories of England and Wales. They have a range of toolkits for both Primary and Secondary schools on how to run poetry sessions within schools.

 

 Or why not use the resources from the BBC Live Lessons last year led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, poet and author Tony Walsh, and CBBC’s Katie Thistleton, this lesson features poetry reading and performance and critical analysis of similes and metaphors.

This is just one of many BBC Teach resources for both Primary and Secondary that can be used to bring poetry to life within the classroom, you can find the collection here.

We would love to see the work you do around National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday hashtag.

Reading Zone Live – Fleur Hitchcock 20th May

 

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Fleur Hitchcock on 20th May  from 2:30 pm.

Born in Chobham, by an airfield, and raised outside Winchester on the banks of the river Itchen, Fleur Hitchcock grew up as the youngest child of three. She spent her smallest years reading Tintin and Batman under her brother’s bed, and searching for King Alfred’s treasure in the river. She grew up a little, went away to school near Farnham, studied English in Wales, and, for the next twenty years, sold Applied Art in the city of Bath. When her younger child was seven, she embarked on the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa and graduated with a distinction.

Now living outside Bath, between parenting and writing, Fleur Hitchcock works with her husband, a toymaker, looks after other people’s gardens and tries to grow vegetables. Her latest book is the Boy is The boy who flew and you can read a review of the book here.

It is really easy to take part in one of our ReadingZone live events and can have a real  impact on students and reading within your school.

I can’t thank you enough for working with our school.  The author events and books that you send us are really helping us to promote reading for pleasure.

Lytchett Minster School

We want as many schools as possible to experience the ReadingZone Live programme in a live, interactive way. We do not want technology to be a barrier to participation. Therefore, we have configured the technology to be open to all schools. It is no longer necessary to have dedicated Video Conferencing equipment.

You are able to join the RZL event by using Google Hangout with this link on the day  http://lgfl.link/RZLhangout

You will need a Google account in order to join. You can also view the event on the day here: www.rzlwatch.lgfl.net We also have a collaborative question doc here where you can pose your questions for Fleur.

For more detailed guidance please read this updated information.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading Zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Henry Winkler, Oliver Jeffers and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. Schools that have video conferencing facilities can join the event and have their questions answered.

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 20th May, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

Reading Zone Live with Sinéad Pounder, Free Author visit and dates for your diary.

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Sibéal Pounder on 15th March from 2:30 pm.

Sibéal Pounder used to work for the Financial Times, where she researched the How To Spend It section and wrote the For Goodness’ Sake column – interviewing everyone from Veronica Etro to Vivienne Westwood. Now she writes about fabulous witches and bad mermaids in her two much loved series for Bloomsbury. Sibéal’s first book, Witch Wars, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016.

Sibéal Pounder brings together the characters from her brilliant, bonkers, bestselling Bad Mermaids and Witch Wars series for a once-in-a-lifetime World Book Day adventure. Once every one hundred years, the mermaids of the Hidden Lagoon and the witches of Sinkville get together for a party! The Top Witch greets the Mermaid Queen, who is wheeled through the streets of Sinkville in a bathtub. Mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda can’t wait to meet a real witch, but when Tiga is unexpectedly sucked down the plughole into the Hidden Lagoon before the celebrations even start, things start to go magically, marvellously, megalodon-sharkally WRONG.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading Zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school.

 

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Henry Winkler, Oliver Jeffers and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. Schools that have video conferencing facilities can join the event and have their questions answered.

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 15th March, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

FREE Author Event – Sign up by end of day on 28th March

Virginia Clay, author of Warrior Boy, is based in Kenya but will be visiting London in March. ReadingZone alongside London Grid for Learning are offering two London primary schools a FREE author event with Virginia on 26th March – a truly unmissable offer! To be entered into the draw for a free author event, just let them know why you would like to host one of Virginia’s events, and the size of audience offered, by emailing: info@ReadingZone.com (Subject: Warrior Boy) The two winning schools will be notified on Tuesday 5th March.

Virginia is offering an hour-long assembly-style event for primary audiences of 180+. Her events are aimed at years 3-6 (ages 8-11) and are entertaining as well as informative. Virginia will also handle book sales on the day.
Warrior Boy, for ages 9+, follows London schoolboy Ben, who is visiting his father’s homeland of Kenya. Ben thinks he won’t fit in with his estranged Maasai cousins but when he arrives, he finds there is a lot more at stake than his pride … In a thrilling adventure of tribal culture and elephant conservation, Ben embarks on a journey of self-understanding and friendship.

Dates for your Diary

We have two more fantastic Reading Zone Live events coming up in April and May.

3rd April with the brilliant Maz Evans author of Who let the Gods out and her most recent book Against all Gods.

22nd May with the fantastic Fleur Hitchcock author of The boy who flew and Murder in Mid winter.

 

 

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

 

ReadingZone Live with Holly Bourne

Our next ReadingZone Live features the author Holly Bourne on 5th December  from 2:20 pm.

Holly started her writing career as a news journalist, where she was nominated for Best Print Journalist of the Year. She then spent six years working as an editor, a relationship advisor, and general ‘agony aunt’ for a youth charity – helping young people with their relationships and mental health. Inspired by what she saw, she started writing teen fiction, including the best-selling, award-winning ‘Spinster Club’ series which helps educate teenagers about feminism. When she turned thirty, she wrote her first adult novel, examining the intensified pressures on women once they hit that landmark.

Alongside her writing, she has a keen interest in women’s rights and is an advocate for reducing the stigma of mental health problems.

This ReadingZone Live event is for Secondary School students and will focus on topics of mental health and well being.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Henry Winkler, Oliver Jeffers and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. Schools that have video conferencing facilities can join the event and have their questions answered.

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:30 pm on 5th December, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.

 

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.

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2018

National Poetry day is on the 4th October 2018 and the theme this year is Change.

To get you ready for this, LGfL are hosting a special Poetry themed Reading zone Live with Zaro Weil on the 3rd October 2018 at 2:30 pm.  Zaro Weil is and has been a lot of things: dancer, poet, novelist, theatre director, performer, teacher, publisher, historian, and a few more as well. Her latest book Firecrackers contains 101 poems, rhymes, raps, haiku’s, ballads, little plays, fairy tales and tall tales which pulse with excitement and wonder. It is a book where experience is turned upside-down: questions are answered, tomorrow is yesterday, and tears are laughter. Every page invites the reader in to an enticing world where concepts, language and rhythms conspire to spark imagination. You can read an interview with Zaro here.

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 e mailing 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 2:25 pm on the 27th September here
  • Tweet us before and during the event using the hashtag  #RZL to @LGfL.

To tie in with National Poetry Day we are also launching our brand new resource Poetry Workshop with Cath Howe, the resource is part of our popular ReadingZone Live resource featuring 40 authors. Poetry Workshop offers strategies for developing creative poetry activities with primary children, suggestions for learning poems by heart and then performing them.

Special-guest material features award winning poet Joseph Coelho. There are five pages of tips for exploring and sharing poetry, learning poems by heart, performing poems, prompts to use when writing poetry and tips for learning poetry by heart. Each page features a teaching point as well as short videos.

There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Change from the National Poetry day website:

  • Read or perform a poem – there are a selection of poems on the National Poetry day website that can get your class inspired.
  • To tie in with National Poetry day  a special competition with Hamish Hamilton, publishers of The Lost Words, has been launched. The Lost Words is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, it captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages and fascinates children. There are signed copies to be won plus £100s worth of books for your school library. The competition is open to children in two age groups: 7-9 and 10-12. You can find out more and enter here.
  • Poems grow from poems, says poet Kate Clanchy, who has created this wonderful activity to inspire new poems. Why not have a go, in class.
  • Posters to put up in class or around school and on your website to highlight the fact that you are supporting National Poetry day.
  • Use this form to sign up for packs of printed materials – Please note it’s first come, first served and National Poetry Day partners at Browns Books for Students are also distributing materials.
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.

You can also join the UK’s biggest classroom at 2pm on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4th October, at bbc.com/livelessons. Featuring poetry reading, performances, and critical analysis of similes and metaphor, this free interactive show will broadcast live into schools across the UK. It will be led by award-winning performance poet, author and National Poetry Day ambassador Joseph Coelho, (who also features on LGfL Reading Zone Live you can see his interviews before the day hereand BBC presenter and author Katie Thistleton.

Using poetry from the National Poetry Day anthology Poetry for a Change, children will discover how intonation, volume and speed can affect the delivery and performance of a poem and use their imaginations to contribute to a mass Live Lessons poem.

Inspired by the National Poetry Day theme ‘Change’, the programme will encourage children to consider how they experience change in their everyday lives and how they can bring this theme to the poetry they read, write and perform.This lesson is aimed at Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level students.

BBC Teach Live Lessons bring the curriculum to life with leading experts and access to the BBC’s biggest brands and talent. The Poetry Live Lesson is one of a series of eight new half hour interactive webcasts for schools. Find out more at bbc.com/livelessons and follow @BBC_Teach for regular updates on all upcoming Live Lessons.

LGfL also have a range of resources to support you in teaching National Poetry Day

  • Use Perform a Poem from LGfL to get tips on performing poems including resources for teachers. Teachers can find clips to help with performances, tips to get pupils writing poems, and information about filming and editing videos. As Michael Rosen states in the introduction of the resource –  Poetry is the sound of words in your ears, it’s the look of poets in motion and that can be you. Make your poems sing, whisper, shout and float. Let the words make the rhythm and give the viewers a buzz to see you.
  • Reading Zone Live also features the poet Roger Stevens who founded and runs the award-winning Poetry Zone website, which encourages children to write and publish their poetry and offers guidance and ideas for teachers on how to make the teaching of poetry fun and rewarding.
  • You can also use image bank from LGfL to show children images of how London has changed over time for them to use as an inspiration to create their own poems and why not use BBC Sound effects to add different sounds to your poems.

  • J2e Tool suite can be used for children to use any of the j2write tools to write their own poem on the theme of change and why not use j2 vote to get the children to vote for their favourite poem.

Poetry Roundabout is the go-to place to find anything and everything about poetry for young people. Poems do not have to be written specifically for young people to be accessible to them; content is however always suitable. This is a place of fun poetry, interesting poetry, lyrical poetry, poems in all different forms and shapes and sizes!  Visit for interviews with the best children’s poets, poetry news, how to write poems, poems of course, and poetry book reviews… and more besides! For teachers, young people’s poets, and poets who are young people!

We would love to see the work you do around Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day via our Twitter or Facebook pages, using the #nationalpoetryday

World Cup 2018

The 21st FIFA World Cup kicks off on the 14th June 2018 and runs until the final on the 15th July 2018.  This years competition takes place in Russia and England were the only team from the UK to qualify for the tournament this year! The World Cup provides a wide range of teaching activities to use across the curriculum, in this blog we have collated resources that can be used from LGfL as well as resources that are available free to use.

First up is ReadingZone Live – Football School

Authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton  discuss their groundbreaking series that teaches you about the world through the prism of football. At Football School every lesson is about football. Can you play football on Mars? What is a magic sponge? Subjects covered include history, geography, science and maths all through football. Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, are journalists, broadcasters and award-winning science and sportswriters. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and engaging writing make them the perfect team to teach you how to score with your head. You can watch interviews with the authors as well as catching up with the video conference – the perfect way to kick off your World Cup work.

National Literacy Trust have teamed up with Walker Books to launch some free teaching resources to inspire KS2 children to get writing ahead of the World Cup. Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, the authors behind the best-selling Football School series, have set pupils an exciting challenge to write a lesson for their favourite subject… but with a World Cup twist!

Pupils are tasked with uncovering the most entertaining facts and funniest stories about football in relation to their favourite subject. Can you play football on Mars? What were Henry VIII’s football boots like? When do footballers go to the toilet?

In true Football School style, pupils are also encouraged to include illustrations, jokes and diagrams in their lessons – which should culminate in a quiz designed to outsmart their classmates.

To help get pupils started, National Literacy Trust have created the following resources:

  • World Cup Football School teaching resource, packed with top writing tips and lesson ideas for every subject
  • Handouts for pupils, including a checklist for creating their lesson and a coach stats card template
  • A colourful poster to display in your classroom
  • Football School bookmarks
  • A certificate to celebrate when your pupils complete their writing challenges

You can also order some free World Cup football school bookmarks and posters by filling out this short form.

The author Tom Palmer is also writing a live thriller adventure set at the men’s football World Cup finals in Russia. A new ten-minute read chapter will be published each weekday morning and will be available free for schools and families to read.  It is aimed at Year 4 – Year 8 and feature dramatic cliffhangers and there will be the chance to vote and change the storyline.  As well as this live book, there are also a range of other resources linked to the World Cup that are available to download, you can find out more here.

If you attended our annual conference this year, you will have received a copy of Striker Boy.

Striker Boy is a fast paced thriller that sees 13-year-old Nat Dixon desperately trying to save his beloved club from relegation. It’s packed with action both on and off the pitch. This special not-for-profit edition is being published in memory of it’s author Jonny Zucker. In November 2016 Jonny took his own life, he was a loving husband and father and creator of the Serial Mash library for 2Simple. Jonny believed passionately in the power of creativity, imagination, and ideas. He dedicated his life to inspiring children to read, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a successful children’s author. Jonny’s favourite of his own stories is a book called ‘Striker Boy’first published in 2010. The book is also raising money for Mind. Please note the book’s content is not related to mental health.I

2simple have produced a range of free teacher resources to accompany the book, including an emotional resilience pack.

They are also running a free to enter national writing competition,open to KS2/3 children of all ability levels.  This is a great activity to use during World Cup month and there are some fantastic prizes, including a World Cup Shirt, a hamper full of official football merchandise and a £100 school book token for the winning entry, the closing date is 8th July. You can find our more and how to enter hereThat’s not all, as there’s also a free emotional resilience assembly and Literacy activities, as well as being able to listen to the first chapter online

Maths in the Real World is a transition resource for Key Stage 2-3. The activities are ideal for use either before or after the move from Primary to Secondary, and detailed differentiation ensures there is something for all ability levels. Three of the sections are perfect to use during the World Cup.

The first is called Arenas and Events, this resource engages students by applying maths to planning and organising arena events. Pupils will cover a wide range of topics over a series of 6 lessons. By adopting a variety of roles they will cover Area, Perimeter, Volume, Rounding, Translation and Rotation along with a few other strands interwoven to the lesson design. This resource contains 6 complete lessons worth of plans and resources, ready for you to deliver. There is a huge scope for easy to implement differentiation for your learners and plenty of cross curricular links, too. The sessions can be delivered in one go, or in chunks to suit your curriculum needs. You can also use this site to look at all the stadiums being used at the World Cup.

Next is sporting decisions, this engages learners through applying Maths to analyse sport. Pupils will cover a wide range of data-handling techniques over the course of 3 lessons to help them pick a winning team. By adopting the role of club manager, they will also apply fractions and percentages to help their decision making process.

Finally Nutrition, which looks at children planning and analysing meal plans. Students will have to apply their problem-solving and use inequalities, charts and graphs to justify their choices. It will also help students to discover what makes a healthy choice and learn the recommended daily allowance for different food criteria. The resource includes all of the necessary nutrition information, along with 3 sample menus for pupils to appraise. The resource is easily accessible for all learners, and can be extended for higher ability. The children can for example plan a menu for a World Cup player.

England have decided not to have an official World Cup song this year – so this provides a great opportunity for children to create one for them! You can watch songs from previous tournaments – including my own favourite below, then using Audio Network for the backing track and j2e tools to write the lyrics you can create your own song to make the three lions roar!

J2e Tools can be used in a variety of ways including: Designing a kit for your favourite time, you can use this infographic from the Guardian for inspiration, which charts all the different kits for all the teams at the tournaments; or why not use the data bases tool to do some real time maths statistics – looking at points scored, goals scored, number of red cards etc.  The BBC website is a great source for this and there is a free lesson plan from Teachwire looking at using statistics to make predictions.

There are also two fantastic databases that have been created one looking at every team in the World Cup, and another that looks at every player in the World Cup – fantastic to use for data handling activities related to the World Cup and thanks to Paul Wright for sharing these!w

Or how about writing a guide to Russia and the cities that are hosting the matches, you can find a lot of information here, on the official welcome page for fans but what information isn’t included that the children would find useful – they could write an alternative guide! The children could use j2vote at the start of the competition to vote for who they think will be picking up the Jules Rimet trophy on the 15th July!

Teachwire also have a PDF resource features a country factfile of all 32 national football teams competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this June and July. Each country file includes the nation’s flag, its name in its native language(s), geography facts such as continent, area, population, capital city, most populous cities, major language(s), most common surnames and currency. And they also include three key players to look out for at the World Cup, and each country’s best performance in the tournament’s history. You can sign up to download the resource here.

BusyThings also have a range of resources that can be used including: writing a match report, writing about a player from their favourite team and designing a football kit.

Lightbulb languages have created a superb range of free resources for the Word cup, including mini book guides for each group, flags, logic activities and a range of language activities they can all be downloaded here.

Originally produced for the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil, Oxfam have a range of resources entitled: The World Cup – a fair game? These resources would be great within a PHSE lesson and although focussed on Brazil as the host country they can easily be adapted for use this month.

Please let us know via our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments section of this blog if you make use of any of the resources or ideas from this blog.

 

 

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.

 

 

5 ways with English

Introducing another in the 5 ways series of resources to help you access LGfL content quickly and help your students learn more.

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.

5 Ways to support Literacy

The resource shows you 5 resources that you can use straight away in your classroom, we would love to know what you think about them and how you have used them in your setting.

Busythings

BusyThings have a wide rang range of games, worksheets, writing templates and activities to support children from EYFS through to Upper Key Stage 2.  A phonic maker is included for teachers to create their own phonic resources as well as spelling games and reading comprehensions.  There are also writing templates available for across the curriculum,  these can be saved or printed out for display.  Children can access the resources at home as well as within school using their own USO so great to share with parents.

Grammar Explained

80 short and clear videos,made to explain every grammar point listed in the Primary National Curriculum. This resource is closely mapped to the National Curriculum appendix for vocabulary, punctuation and grammar, with every item scripted into a short, clear video to demonstrate what the term means and how it can be applied to every day situations. Videos can be searched by year group or by grammatical term. It is designed to support pupils in their understanding of the terms, empower parents to support their children and refresh the subject knowledge of teachers.

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, Sally Gardner, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Pete Johnson, Sally Nichols and Alexander Gordon Smith are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live programme.

As well as joining in with a Reading Zone Live event each half term, schools can also use the resource after an event, students can listen to authors talking about what inspires their books, how they write as well as listen to the authors giving tips for students’ creativity. There is also a resource bank which teachers can use to look in more detail at the following: genre, planning, character, writing and the editing process.

j2eTool Suite

 

The j2e Tool Suite is a collection of online educational tools specifically designed to engage,motivate and inspire. j2e is an online, fun, creative environment. Text, graphics, animations,sounds, videos, and embedded objects can be combined on a single web page, with unlimited storage for files and the ability to blog at the click of a button. 

j2office -With the j2office apps you can edit your documents in the cloud and access them on any device with a simple logon. The j2office apps are all compatible with Microsoft Office formats, so after a simple upload you can save and edit your existing documents easily. J2office is designed for education, this means that you can easily share a document with your school or a class, review and assess pupils’ work

j2write – 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.

Spell blast – Spell blast encourages pupils to learn spellings while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. Teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult. A word cloud shows commenly mis-spelt words. Teachers are also able to upload their own weekly spelling lists that the children can then access within the game.

Widgit

Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols designed to illustrate a single concept in clear and concise way. They cover a range of topics (including many curricular areas) wide enoughto make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities.

Already used by many SEND departments and schools, the entire symbol database of over 15,000 images is now available to all LGfL TRUSTnet schools to search and download.

The use of these symbols increases the accessibility of written text by giving readers of all literacy levels greater access to information. As they are designed specifically for written information,Widgit Symbol users can develop a real independence in reading and writing.

There are many ways to use the symbols, but some common ideas are for:

  • Symbol Sentences this is when a regular sentence has symbols above the words illustrating the main points in the sentence. Not all of the words may have symbols, as abstract symbols are unnecessary and distracting for most symbol readers, but there should be enough symbols to ensure that the meaning can be understood even if the text isn’t.
  • Key Symbols one or two symbols that can be used with or without text to convey a single piece of information. At most, they provide the same amount of information as a short sentence of text.They can help reinforce meaning and give reassurance by acting as reminders for any level of reader.
  • Communication Grids typically these have one symbol per grid cell alongside the text. The grid can facilitate a conversation with one or more people pointing to the symbols to express their ideas.
  • Symbol Flashcards cards containing one symbol and text. They have a very wide range of uses.They can be used as educational games to learn a topic, picked from to make choices, ordered tocreate a timetable and shown to aid communication.

There are also a range of Widgit activities for teachers to use, including a range of differentiated activities on Cinderella, Charles Dickens, e and Red Riding Hood.

We will also be running 5 ways as short training sessions, so if you are a subject leader or are running a leader’s forum, why not get in contact with us to talk about having 5 ways as part of your CPD programme.

Over the next couple of months, we will be adding to the series, but would love to hear your thoughts! What 5 ways would help you get the most out of LGfL resources?

Please let us know via our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments section of this blog using the hashtag #5ways

 

 

ReadingZone Live with Philip Reeve – June 13th.

Our next ReadingZone Live 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 this 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 latest book in the series Station Zero publishes in May 2018.

Philip also creates young fiction with Sarah McIntyre. Their adventures include Oliver and the SeawigsCakes in SpacePugs of the Frozen NorthJinks and O’Hare: Funfair Repair, and a brand new series The Legend of Kevin, publishing in September 2018.

This Reading Zone Live event would be most suited for Upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 children.

ReadingZone Live is a partnership with ourselves and Reading zone bringing regular interviews and live videos conferences with some of the best contemporary children’s authors and illustrators to London school.

Antony Horowitz, Sally Gardner, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Henry Winkler, Oliver Jeffers and Lauren Child are among the authors who have already joined us for the ReadingZone Live Programme, which helps to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and help children to develop their own creative writing.

LGfL schools are linked to our live author events via video conferencing, with one school selected to host the author event, during each event, authors discuss their writing process before answering the student’s questions via video. Schools that have video conferencing facilities can join the event and have their questions answered.

Schools can watch the broadcast via live webcast starting at 2:20 pm on 13th June, more details of the event and how you can be involved can be found here.