Author Archives: elspethmackenzie

There’s lots of talk in the Highland Literacy Group about writing and how to develop it so with a few weeks of school under our belts, what are we all doing to give our classes the skills they need to be better writers? In the near future, we plan to offer workshops on writing and how to engage children in the process and we’d love to see you there. Keep checking back to find out how to sign up!

 

 

 

Learning has to be FUN, doesn’t it?

I read a recent post on chartchums.wordpress.com and it made me smile!  This time of year can be one that feels a little frantic so for me this time to read and reflect felt good!  We all know that if children are motivated and engaged it makes our lives easier, so how do we use their excitement to develop their literacy skills? Take a look at how a Primary 1 class were hooked on reading through their obsession with Star Wars then if you want to find out more, click on the link above and go to the chartchums blog (a great one to follow as they do post some interesting things!).

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Ideas for the Summer Term!

teaching ideaspoetry archive

Click on the images above and you’ll find yourself at two very good websites recommended by Primary colleagues!  Teaching Ideas has a wealth of resources for all curricular areas.  If you hover over the Literacy tab you’ll find almost everything you need to inspire you this term.  I had a look at some of the videos and there are some excellent shorts that I’ll be using to stimulate storyline discussions with my Primary 6 class (my favourite is ‘Alma’ – a bit freaky but I like that!).  The Poetry Archive has a selection of poetry that children will love and also featured poets to get to know.

Here’s Alma for you to enjoy…don’t watch it with infant classes!

If you know of any resources out there that you can share, please let us know and we’ll post them here for everyone to enjoy!

 

April is…National Poetry Month

What a great way to start the summer term with a bit of poetry!  April is National Poetry Month and there are so many great resources out there to inspire our young poets.

One idea I found and plan on using is having a ‘Poem in Your Pocket’ day.  Simply pick a day and everyone finds a favourite poem to keep safe in their pocket.  During the day they share it with others, read it quietly, critique it and finally at the end of the day they can give their poem away to a friend. This could so easily move onto exploring song lyrics, their rhyme,  rhythm and implicit meanings which again is a great way to keep the boys hooked!

Here’s a powerful poem for older children (they sometimes don’t get the significance until they notice the date…)

The Garden

A little garden,
Fragrant and full of roses,
The path is narrow
And a little boy walks along it.

A little boy, a sweet boy,
Like that growing blossom.
When the blossom comes to bloom,
The little boy will be no more.

Franta Baas (1930-1944)

A couple of websites you might want to explore – lots going on here!

http://www.readingrockets.org/calendar/poetry/

http://teacher.scholastic.com/poetry/

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More Media Ideas

moving image

Following on from the previous post about  ‘Using Media in Literacy’ click on the image above and you’ll find yourself at the Moving Image Education website.  This site has a host of quality video clips that can be used to develop children’s literacy skills. These are great to use and add a little variety to the texts we ask the children to view and think about.

Using film trailers is also a great way to start thinking about story lines and characterisation but the challenge is often finding films the children don’t actually know!  Using foreign films has worked well for me, have a look at one of my favourites: