A character’s bedroom

We finally did it.  Having read The Paradise Garden by Colin Thompson, we created the main character’s bedroom.  It was fascinating because this was the second time that we had read the book and so the Trainees saw even more in it.  Because we were trying to make links with a child’s bedroom, we read the book differently and so noticed that red symbolises escape or travel and that there were other characters that appeared on many of the pages.

I had set up a bedroom just inside the door of the room that we use for breaks and break out groups.  This is just the bare bones.

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And here is the bedroom after it had been dressed. If you know the book you will recognise some of the items and be able to make your own mind up about why we included them.



It is a hedgehog and duck on the bed.  They appear on every single page and so have great relevance for Peter. Perhaps they had been favourite cuddly toys that were comforters and so went with him everywhere. At one point a helping dog came in to the building, hopped on to the bed and started to chew the hedgehog!  I didn’t manage to get a picture but if you have visted Colin Thompson’s website and read his pages about dogs, you will recognise the link to Cafe Max that appears on many of his pages.

What role play area do you have in your classroom?






What would his bedroom look like?

Imagine a friday night.  You sit down with your glass of wine and think I will just check in with facebook and twitter and then stop working.  And then, twitter manages to show you something that you think about all weekend.  An idea  so inspiring that even when you are choosing the oranges in Tescos you are thinking – How could I use this?

Hats off to St Peters in Bournemouth!  What an exciting place to work and to be a student.  The blog post Pimp my Classroom: 8 ways to confuse the cleaner was what set me off, in particular the images from No.4 The Expert’s Bedroom and the timeline displayed at the top of the post.  What I  have thought about all weekend is how could I use them and so, DPSCITT trainees, I have come up with some ways.

The timeline was based on an idea from Sara Fanelli at the Tate.  I have her book The Onion’s Great Escape which invites the reader to

timeline2smalltimelinerespond in the book by drawing, doodling and reflecting. I think the timeline may do the same.  It is created as a small, fan  folded piece of card in an envelope.  This I love!  After much thought, I think I can best use this when we look at reading and explore  children’s literature.  We could make a timeline  of significant children’s authors with links to current authors, e.g. if you like this, then you might also like this.  Amazon does this nowadays and it is the very essence of a good bookshop and school library.  It is what teachers need to do to encourage and broaden children’s reading experiences.

It is The Expert’s Bedroom that I am most excited about.

expertbedroom Imagine what a  particular person’s bedroom looked like when they were a child.  I think that this great idea could be used as an outcome for an author study.  Imagine what the bedroom of Eric Carle as a child would be like.  This is exactly what I intend to do with the trainee teachers, and then create it!  Through this activity we can explore Eric Carle but we can also discuss how to negotiate setting up role play areas with children and how we can use challenges to alter their play in the space.

The images are organised as a timeline and tell the story as you go round.  I still can’t tell how they created the wardrobe on the doorway though!  I might not be able to create that part.

There are other things though on the blog that I am still thinking about, e.g. critique gallerys, Austin’s butterfly (surely that is what writing is all about) and teachers as reasearchers.

What have you donne in your learning environment that will stimulate your learners?