Elm Park Nursery School, Clapham, London

I love getting involved in WORKSHOPS.

Why? Nothing inspires a child to read and create their own stories more than meeting a real-life author.

What happens on the day?  From simple storytelling with the very young, to talks based on specific books, to workshops aimed at writing or illustrating picture books for older College students studying graphic art or doing an MA in Creative writing – I can tailor my visit to your needs, to make sure you get the most out of the day.

1. Picture Book Workshops

THE MAGIC BOJABI TREE. Story telling from the heart of Africa where everyone can join in. Suitable for Reception. It’s very interactive. The children respond to the rhythmic language and join in making the sound of the hot wind, the lion growling, acting out the journey of the little tortoise, using coconut clappers to make the clip clop of zebra hooves and taking turns with a hungry python (made of African cloth). Afterwards we have a marvellous time dancing to African marimba music. 

Tips for Teachers:

1. Play the Counting Game. Pupils work in groups to discover how many living creatures are on certain spreads.  (don’t forget to count the  birds flying in the far distance)

2. Make an animal mask. Use a templates to cut out a giraffe, a zebra or a lion. (a paper plate makes an easy substitute) Colour the patterns on the masks or add coloured strips and add wool or strips for the lion’s mane. Perhaps act out THE MAGIC BOJABI TREE afterwards.

3.Make a huge python collage by working in groups and then piecing the python together. Use wrapping paper and patterned paper from old magazines

THE FARAWAY ISLAND Perfect to use for Year 1 & 2 as it fits with the National Curriculum. The story involves maps, islands, exotic plants and animals and exploration in the 16th century. There’s an opportunity to do some artwork exploring texture and pattern through painting, drawing or collage.  Looking at portraits of 16th century queens & kings and looking at original artwork of exotic environments e.g. Rousseau’s jungle paintings.

THE STARBEARER – An Egyptian creative myth that works well with Year 2 or 3.

2. Novels – Based on specific novels, drawing on landscape, character and plot, using PowerPoint and music.

Three high adventure stories in the Oliver Strange Frog Diary series;

Oliver Strange and the Journey to the Swamps –Year 6 & 7

Oliver Strange and the Ghosts of Madagascar – Year 6 & 7

Oliver Strange and the Forests of Secrets – Year 6 & 7

Two novels from Ancient Egypt

Eye of the Moon and Eye of the Sun – Year 6 & 7.