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Literacy Time PLUS resource inspires young poets

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By Helen Watts

Authors and Letters, an on-screen resource published in the March issue of Literacy Time PLUS, focused on the work of author and poet Moira Andrew. Children in Class 3H at Southam Primary School in Warwickshire were so inspired by Moira’s work that they created their own poems in the same style – Helen Watts, Editor of Literacy Time PLUS, tells us more

I was over the moon when top author and poet, Moira Andrew, agreed to help me compile a special on-screen resource to help teachers working on the Literacy Framework Narrative Unit for Year 3, Authors and Letters. Published online last month, the resource comprised a selection of Moira’s poems and traditional stories accompanied by her notes on the inspiration for her writing, the writing process, and examples of letters and emails she has shared with some of her readers. Click here to take a look.

I also invited teachers and children to correspond with Moira through the Teacher Talk section of the Literacy Time PLUS website or via Moira’s own website.

Dear Children of Class 3H

(Southam, Primary School)

Let me introduce myself to you all. I am the Editor of a magazine for teachers called Literacy Time PLUS. One of the resources in the March 2008 issue of our magazine was Authors and Letters, which I believe you and your teacher, Mrs Hindley, used recently for your author study on Moira Andrew.

Moira contacted me this week to tell me that she had received some lovely emails from you along with some poems which you had written in the same style as hers. She told me to have a look at your school’s website – which I did. I was so impressed by the work you have been doing, and really excited to see the lovely poems which you have written, that I wanted to write to you myself.

I not only want to say ‘well done’ on creating such moving and well-thought-out poems, but I also want to ask you if you would give me permission to publish two of the poems on the Literacy Time PLUS website. The two poems I would like to publish are:

Michael’s poem about being him – which is based on Moira’s poem ‘Nobody Knows’

and

Alex’s poem about his toy dog – which is based on Moira’s poem ‘My Gran’.

Perhaps you could write back to me to tell me if this is possible? I am happy to put together a box of books for your class and post it to you as a thank you.

I would also like to include with the two poems a link to your school’s website, so that our readers can take a look at the other poems published there. I think they might also be interested to take a look around your website as it is so well thought out and packed with so many examples of the great work going on in your school.

I really look forward to hearing from you. Do keep me posted of any other lovely ideas you do in your literacy lessons, too. I am always looking for good authors!

With thanks and best wishes

Helen Watts

Editor

Literacy Time PLUS

It was not long before the correspondence started flowing – and among the letters and emails Moira received was a lovely set of letters from children in Class 3H at Southam Primary School in Warwickshire. The class had done an author study on Moira, and the children had been writing some poems in a similar style to those in the Literacy Time PLUS resource. Moira wrote back to the children who were, in the words of their class teacher, Jo Hindley, “delighted that a REAL author had read their work and had sent such personal comments”.

When Moira told me about the lovely work that had been going on in the school, I was so thrilled that I decided to get in touch as well.

Luckily the children agreed to my request and I have great pleasure in publishing Mike and Alex’s poems here for you to enjoy. Mike’s thoughtful poem about himself is based on Moira’s touching poem ‘Just Me’, while Alex’s poem, about his toy dog named Biscuit, is based on Moira’s poem ‘My Gran’.

Just me

by Michael

Sometimes I think

There’s just me

In the whole world.

Who else knows

The language

Of my chewing?

Who else knows

The rumble of the

The dark spot in my bedroom?

Who else knows

The cosiness of

My bed?

Who else knows

What happens to me?

When I wake up?

Just me

And I’m the only me

In the whole world.

My Toy Biscuit

by Alex

My Biscuit is

A-go-off-on-an-adventure

kind of toy

He is

A-can’t-talk-now

Got-to-get-ready-for-an-adventure

Kind of toy

It has been a very exciting day for us in 3H! The children were delighted that a REAL author had read their work and had sent such personal comments.

He is

a-”I’ll-eat-your-worst-enemies

The-hand-spiders

Tell-the-adventures-I’ve-had”

Kind of toy

He is

A-not-telling-how-I-get-into-dreams

Race-you-to-get-up

Best-behaved-toy-in-the-world

Remind-me-when-my-birthday-is

Kind of toy

Congratulations to both children – and to all the children in Class 3H who have produced such wonderful writing.

You can read more of the children’s poems – and find out what other wonderful things have been going on in the school – at the Southam Primary School website. Click on Class pages then click on Class 3H to find a full list of poems.

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