Happy New Year to you all. 2011 looks like being every bit as exciting as 2010 did. I thought I would start off the year as I mean to go on and therefore want to share a great new book with you.
The Beasties by Jenny Nimmo and Gwen Millard is a fantastic book that can be used in a couple of different ways but both related to talk for writing.
The book follows in the long tradition of children’s literature about night time and not being able to get to sleep and the worries that the dark can bring. Daisy is a little girl that finds it difficult to get to sleep, lying awake listening to all the sounds of the street and not noticing the three creatures, could they be monsters, that creep into her room and start to look at all their treasures. What these three creatures do is pick out one of their treasures and tell a story around it just like storytellers do. When Daisy finally plucks up the courage to look under her bed, where they are hiding, she finds three very very small beasties and is encouraged to make up her own stories.
This book would make a great model for children to create their own version of in groups with each child writing their own story based around an object. What you will need for this is a story telling bag with lots of objects in it such as rings, unicorns, special keys, bowls etc that a story can be built around.
The book could also be used however to develop children’s ability to add detail because each of the stories is in reality a bare bones. This would mean that the children could learn the bare bones and then using games such as ‘Tell me more about…’ they could add detail and description to each section and then tell their version of the story. They would provide a good opportunity to consider how the reader is to feel during each section and how that can be achieved.
This book is suitable for Yr2 or 3 pupils and will be added to our texts that teach fiction list.
What new texts will you use this year in your literacy teaching?