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
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.
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.
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!