Publisher: Puffin Books ISBN: 978-0140565812 Here's another fun craft to make with your little learners- a paper skeleton! This craft was inspired by reading the picture book Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. It's the original story from their classic picture book series. The story is about two silly skeletons (and their dog) who leave their dark, dark house and go on a scaring spree at night. But the skeletons encounter a difficulty - there's no-one awake to frighten! To make your own movable paper skeleton character, first download and print our free template. Then carefully cut around the skeleton... Read more →

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books ISBN: 978-1447210856 We all know that mermaids are traditionally beautiful and have wonderful singing voices. However, when Julia Donaldson's Singing Mermaid is imprisoned in a fish tank by the wicked circus owner Sam Sly, she must prove herself capable of so much more, if she is to return to her beloved ocean! Lydia Monks has illustrated the story with bright and bold prints on glitter-filled pages :) It's a very tactile book! Here on The Guardian's Children's Books site, readers can watch how Lydia draws her perfect sea lady in a step-by-step tutorial. Inspired, we decided... Read more →

Publisher: Red Fox ISBN: 978-0099438748 In everyday life, when you see or hear something interesting or entertaining, you usually share your story with others by retelling what happened in your own words. The skill of retelling is important. When I listen to children retelling a familiar story, I'm hoping that they communicate to me what meaning they made of the original text, an understanding of structure and an ability to use appropriate language such as time connectives first, then and finally. I find the best children's stories to use for straightforward retelling are those that are easily remembered, with lots... Read more →

Publisher: Puffin ISBN: 978-0141383514 This simple art activity was an opportunity to combine two painting techniques with bold, contrasting colours. But our fantastic children took it to a much higher level! After sharing Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle, the children gathered images and watched videos of polar bear families on the Arctic ice. As expected, this eventually led to a discussion about the decline of the species due to global warming and habitat loss. What I didn't expect was the children's decision to respond to the decline of polar bears directly... Read more →

Publisher: Harper ISBN: 978-0061732973 Austin Kleon is an inspiring contemporary poet. He uses newspaper articles from the New York Times as unique canvases for creating his verse. The first thing I wanted to do, after trying it out myself, was to see if the older children I teach would find this technique successful and worth exploring. We began by visiting the official website, where the children could read examples by Austin and view poems shared by fans using his method. As we watched a short interview with the poet, I could see that the boys in particular were itching... Read more →