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Literacy Time PLUS Ages 7 to 9 Recommended Read

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This month’s recommendation for seven- to nine-year-olds

The Snow Goose

by Paul Gallico (Random House, 9780091893828)

First published in 1940, The Snow Goose is a modern classic set on the Essex marshes during the Second World War. In compelling and poetic writing, it tells the story of the friendship that develops between Philip Rhayader, a lonely recluse, and a young girl, Fritha, who asks for his help to heal a wounded snow goose. This new edition is beautifully illustrated by Angela Barrett, its sepia and muted tones conveying the desolation of the marshes and Rhyader’s loneliness.

The Chimera’s Curse

by Julia Golding (OUP, 9780192754592)

In the dramatic conclusion to the Companions Quartet Connie Lionheart and her friends must battle the shapeshifter Kullervo and his army of mythical beings to save humanity from being wiped out. Strong central characters and an underlying environmental message in this adventure series will inspire young readers with an interest in the world around them.

The Primary English Encyclopedia: The Heart of the Curriculum (Third Edition) by Margaret Mallett (David Fulton, 9780415451031)

Do you know your diphthongs from your digraphs? Are you au fait with all the main reading programmes published in the UK? And can you really tell the difference between a legend, a myth and a fable? If you have the slightest doubt about saying yes to any of these questions, fear not: the answers are all in The Primary English Encyclopedia. This fantastic resource contains such a comprehensive coverage of literacy topics that it will undoubtedly become one of the most regularly consulted titles on your bookshelf. But don’t wait until you need to look something up; with sections on things like ‘Language across the curriculum’ and ‘Shakespearean drama (in the primary years)’, the book makes interesting reading at any time. There is even ‘A Who’s Who in Primary English?’ at the back.

Active Assessment in English

by Brenda Keogh, John Dabell and Stuart Naylor (Routledge, 9781843124696)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jenkins, Literacy Coordinator, Warwickshire

Active Assessment in English is a book and accompanying CD-ROM aiming to provide primary and secondary English teachers with fun and engaging assessment activities for children learning in English.

One of the key successes of this resource is that the activities assess the learning processes involved in childrens’ learning in English, not just the analysis of written outcomes, as is so often the case. It embraces the ‘aspects of learning’ prevalent in the Revised Framework for Literacy and creates interesting assessment for learning opportunities, not only for teachers’ benefit but also for the benefit of children, as they reflect on their own learning and learn new things in the process. While there are a lot of good activities for use with primary age children, there are also some that would be too difficult. Of the activities that are suitable, effective use would probably be limited to Year 4 upwards.

An excellent feature of this book is that the activities can be annotated and edited using the CD-ROM, or used as a computer-based activity. Tasks are for groups but would also lend themselves to individual, and sometimes whole-class, activities. Tasks link to different genres and aspects of English and would be best used at the start and end of units of work. I think this is a very useful resource for assessing active learning in English. It would be a useful purchase for the latter end of Key Stage 2.



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