Christmas Writing

I have to say that it is a bumper year for great christmas adverts .  I am in love with Mog and his christmas calamity and think it beats the John Lewis advert hands down. I do think that the John Lewis advert and Baboon on the Moon are very similar.
Here is my list of favourite christmas adverts that would be great to use to support writing and as a little present, there are three teaching sequences now available to go with them – one for Yr1/2, one for Yr3/4 and one for Yr5/6.

mogThis is such a fun story where a chain of events lead to Mog escaping quickly from the kitchen, which is in ruins.  I love the expressions on Mog’s face as he moves through the catastrophe.  We have a sequence for Yrs 3 and 4 based on this advert.

 

mononthemoonThis is a great advert, which if Mog wasn’t around would be my favourite this year.  It tells the story of a man (grandpa) far away and his loneliness.  The little girl goes to endless trouble to get in contact with him and because this is Christmas, she manages it. We have a sequence for Yrs1 and 2 based on this advert and Baboon on themoon . Although the sequence moves onto invented writing, you could stop at the end of the innovate stage. Download the sequence at www.babcock-education.co.uk/ldp/literacy .

spanishlotto My third favourite christmas ad is the spanish lottery advert which tells about a man who goes to work every day in a rather boring job and the things he does to pass the time. The staff then win the lottery and he thinks he is not included. But it’s christmas so I am sure you can guess the ending.  We have  a sequence for Yrs5 and 6 based on this advert at www.babcock-education.co.uk/ldp/literacy

 

kwikfitMy final ad is one from KwikFit  just for the joy of Christmas and the magic of Santa Claus for children. I love the reindeer nose peeking out at the end. www.babcock-education.co.uk/ldp/literacy is where it can be found.

 

 

Do you have a favourite Christmas ad to support writing that we should know about?

 

 

 

A trio of christmas books

I have long enjoyed Carol Ann Duffy’s work, a fact which was brought home to me when I read her  poem Achillles about David Beckham.  I loved the way that she brought popular culture and laureate work together.  Something she has continued to do.  I hope that I am to receive her latest book The Bees for christmas.  I have dropped enough hints!

What I do have however, is copies of the little christmas books that she has written and I have collected over the last three years.

The first of the trio that I bought was Mrs Scrooge.  This is an uptodate version of the story with Mrs Scrooge googling information about the way that turkeys are reared for the christmas feast.  It also contains credit cards, protests and developers.

Up the echoing stairs to slippers, simple supper, candles, cocoa, cat, went Mrs Scrooge: not scared, but oddly comforted at glimpsing Scrooge’s knockered face.

The language rolls and trips off the tongue, rich with alliteration and assonance.  Christmas past, present and future arrive to show Mrs Scrooge the life she has had, has and will have with a happy ending of family near by and developers thwarted.

Posy Simmonds provides the illustrations and they mirror the warmth, detail and emotion.

Another Night Before Christmas is illustrated by Rob Ryan: he of the wonderful paper cutting.   This is the story of a little girl trying to stay awake to see if Santa is real.

The hushed street was in darkness.  Snow duveted the cars – a stray cat had embroidered each roof with its paws.

An owl on an aerial had planets for eyes.  The child at the window stared up at the sky.

I an not quite sure how you pronounce ‘duveted’ but I do love the way that christmas is described; the flirting of the tree in flickers of green and crimson, the reindeer whose breath chiffoned out into the cold and the aeroplanes that sped to the east and the west like a pulled cracker. There are again references to contemporary life with the droning motorways, people in blankets with nowhere to go, cashpoints glowing like icons of light and the satellite filming famine and greed.  The story is however timeless.

The Christmas Truce tells the story of the football match on the 25th December 1914 when war was suspended and Christmas spread.

So Christmas dawned, wrapped in mist, to open itself and offer the day like a gift for Harry, Hugo, Hermann, Henry, Heinz….. with whistles, waves, cheers, shouts, laughs.

The illustrations by David Roberts are so evocative showing a  devastated waste land of spiky shapes and  red cold noses and cheeks.

These books would make fantastic stocking filler.  Let’s hope there will be many more.

Happy Christmas!

 

5 great presents for teachers

It’s that time of year when every magazine that I open contains pages of possible presents for children, men, teenagers, grandparents etc but very rarely teachers.  Quite a few of my friends are teachers and we like to give each other something small but useful for work  at Christmas.  As I am trying to do most of my shopping online I thought I would share a few of my favourite things.

pencilpotI don’t know if you remember making pencil holders out of toilet or ktchen roll inners.  I have certainly received a few in my time but I think this pencil holder goes one step further – a pencil pot made out of a recycled telephone book.  Not only is it fantastic but it also comes with a great set of instuctions which are always useful in a literacy classroom.

This next present is always useful.  A Fatbear memory stick.  I love the colours and shape of them and have quite a collection myself.  Because of their colour they are not as difficult to lose as some of the other memory sticks I have had.fatbears

I can’t emugwarmerven begin to count the number of cups of tea that have gone cold before I have managed to drink them, so this little gadget is a winner.  A USB mug warmer.  Simply plug it into a spare USB port and hey presto a hot drink waiting for you.

fruitholderIn the literacy centre there are often bits of fruit rolling around the desk and work table, usually left over from lunches with teachers.  What we need is something attractive to put the fruit on and I particularly like this fruit dish – or to give it its proper name a silicone fruit holder.  No more rolling around now!

And finally many staffrooms that I visit have glass mugs so a tea inffuser like this wouldbe a real treat.  Open teainfuserit up, pop your tea leaves in and then let if float around the mug.  Brilliant.  Perfect for herbal teas as well as normal tea.

What are you buying this year?