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Take One Book

To engage the whole school in a shared enjoyment of a text, the first two weeks of each term are dedicated to exploring one picture book and producing artwork and writing surrounding the text. This is displayed throughout the school to give children a sense of shared achievement.  

Take One Book


Tuesday by David Wiesner

Tuesday is a near-wordless picture book where frogs in a pond lift off on their lily pads and fly to a nearby town where they zoom through a woman's living room, encounter a dog playing in his yard, and distract a bathrobe-clad citizen from his midnight snack.


In Year 3, we imagined what would happen after the incident of the flying frogs, and wrote a sequel including flying pigs. We included descriptive language and accurate punctuation. For Art, we looked at colour when drawing our own flying pigs.


Year 4 were inspired by the flying frogs in this book, so for Art we created 3D frogs using concertina effects. For English, we wrote our own set of instructions to make frogs fly. Our imaginations went wild for this, so be prepared for a fun read!


In Year 5, we took on the role of detectives and created police reports based on the unusual sightings and activities that residents reported witnessing. We studied the book in detail, then considered different witnesses points of view and turned this into reported speech, before discussing and using the features of a police report. For Art, we looked at examples of still life, particularly exploring: line, colour and shading, before using these to draw our own frogs.


In Year 6, we were inspired by the book Tuesday, to produce our own newspaper reports about the strange scene which the town woke up to on that fateful Wednesday morning. We looked at the features of newspaper reports and tried to emulate the formal, concise writing style, incorporating reported speech. In art, we sketched frogs paying particular attention to their facial expressions.

Take One Book


365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental

365 Penguins is a picture book with maths problems incorporated along the way. The family in 365 Penguins finds a penguin mysteriously delivered to their door every day for a year. At first they're cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up―along with the family's problems. Feeding, cleaning, and housing the penguins becomes a monumental task.


We have spent two weeks creating fabulous pieces of artwork, including zentangle penguins; penguins in different seasons, paying particular attention to detail and penguins in their natural habitats. 

In English, we have created suspense narratives, with a mother penguin as our main character; news reports in the style of Newsround about penguins and Antarctica and biographies of the famous broadcaster and biologist, David Attenborough. 



Take One Book 


Journey by Aaron Becker 

Journey is an incredible wordless picture book, following a girl on a journey with a magical crayon. There are many themes to be explored through this book, including bravery, courage, friendship and loneliness. 


We have spent two interesting and creative weeks on Journey in our English and Art lessons. 


In year 3, we looked at the imagery from Journey and completed some wonderful descriptions; we used similes and expanded noun phrases to describe the girl’s journey.

In art, we created our perfect setting - something we would love to see on the other side of our magical door! We used chalk pastels and various mark making techniques to produce a fabulous piece of art!


In English, year 4 made predictions from the front cover. After this we read the blurb and edited our predictions. We then dived into the wordless book and created our own narrative for some of the pages using fronted adverbial, similes and metaphors. We then dived in further and became the character in the book, by writing a diary from the character’s perspective.
In art, we thought about what we would like to see behind a magical door. We then created our 3D art pieces with our ideas. We also made magical lanterns in the colour that we would like our magical crayon to be.


In Year 5, we have written newspaper articles about the bizarre disappearance of the girl through the magical doorway which suddenly appears in her room.

In art, we have combined our topic, Africa, and the story, Journey, to create red doors which open onto an African landscape. We used oil pastels to create our sunset settings. To add detail, we researched the animals that live in Africa and added these to our scenes.


In Year 6, we wrote a setting description of the enchanted forest, or the magnificent castle, and then wove this into our narrative that started with a prequel of how the crayons came into existence.

For Art, we looked at two artists, Santhana Krishnan and Viktoria Kravchenko. Both artists focused their art on doors, however Santhana used bold colours and let us peek behind the doors from India, whereas Viktoria used watercolour and lots of detail to depict doors from all over Europe. We then created our own doors and the world beyond, based on one of these artists.

Take One Book 

Varmints by Helen Ward and Marc Craste

Learning all about Varmints was an excellent way to begin this academic year! Our children grasped the concept of what humans are doing to nature, whilst also seeing the positive side... having a bit of hope and perseverance can really make a difference! 


Our English and Art have been inspired by Varmints, leading to some amazing work! 


In Year 3, we created shape poems with a focus on adjectives to describe a varmint. In Art, we ventured outside to collect leaves and plants and made a collage and also practised our photography skills.

In Year 4, we used vocabulary that we were exposed to, to write a setting description of a natural setting near us... lots of us wrote about our local park! For Art, we created our own watercolour background in the style of the Varmints book, whilst focusing on replicating fonts used. 

In Year 5, we focused on making predictions and used lots of book talk to support our predictions. For Art, we looked at the illustrators drawing of a varmint, then used different styles to draw our own. We even used an anime style! 

In Year 6, we wrote Varmints part 2, by starting off where the story ended... at the beginning! We thought about other animals that were under threat of extinction and wrote from their perspective, e.g. an orangutan in the rainforest. 

In Art, we created our own storyboards of the Varmint story, focusing on light and dark and how we would portray it using different mediums, for example, graphite for darkness and watercolour for the light. 

Take One Book 

     Leon and the Place Between 

by Angela McAllister 

Pupils throughout Middlemarch School thoroughly enjoyed this term’s Take One Book.


Our Take One Book for the summer term was called ‘Leon and the Place Between’, which is set at a circus. To immerse ourselves into a circus atmosphere to completely understand Leon's feelings, we had a Circus Skills workshop with a magician, who showed us many magic tricks, including mixing two pots of coloured beads and then separating them in a split second! There were also opportunities to try lots of circus equipment for ourselves, including stilts; juggling balls; diablos; flower sticks and spinning plates. It was an excellent and exciting experience that everyone was involved with.


In class, we wrote in response to the text. Year 3 created a narrative story with a magical twist; Year 4 produced poetry imagining their experiences at a circus; Year 5 took on the role of Leon to write a diary entry of his experiences, while Year 6 wrote a setting description based on the beautifully drawn images and a character description. 

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman Take One Book

Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman


Pupils throughout Middlemarch School thoroughly enjoyed this term’s Take One Book: Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman. 


In class, we wrote in response to the text.  Year 3 created poetry based on the highly detailed images and vocabulary in the text, Year 4 imagined what it would be like to stand in the rainforest and described their imagined experiences, Year 5 researched Bengal tigers and wrote their own non-chronological reports while Year 6 reimagined the story and developed their own stories set in another culture having researched their own choice of country. 


To immerse ourselves further in the text, we were visited by dancer Sohan Kailey who led Indian dance workshops for each class.  We worked our socks off!  Each workshop session began by exploring India before we launched into a high-energy workout.  Each pupil was supported in learning a selection of Indian dance moves which were then pieced together to form a whole class performance.  


Children told us that the Indian dance workshop was “amazing” and “like nothing they had ever done before’.  It was fantastic to see so many of our pupils engaging with new experiences and activities.


Below: We are proud of our work!