I created this website a few years ago, when I became a freelance English consultant, but then life side-swiped me and it felt easier to give little sound bites on Twitter (@justdawned). Now, things have changed again and we are all in the middle of very unsettling times. It felt right to try to rebuild my website as sometimes you just want, and need, to say more!
My love affair with poetry has been an extremely long one! Throughout June I am going to start by sharing this wonderful free resource from Books from Scotland specially commissioned for children during lock down. Then I’m going to tweet four poems every day that could be used to help teachers explore themes such as happiness, loss, old age, love, and resilience (these daily anthologies will be shared in the poetry section). Children love poetry and if I can help teachers find some interesting ones that will make June, and this madness we are all going through, just a little more bearable.
I have so many poetry books, that I use, that it’s always difficult to pick one out and say that it’s my book of the month, but I’m trying to be more disciplined and share my love of this art form so I’m going to try to pick anthologies that we can use right now, whether it’s directly with our classes or on-line with our pupils in the ‘ether’! The poems in A kid in my class, written by Rachel Rooney (winner of the CLiPPA Award) and illustrated by Chris Riddell (former UK Children’s Laureate) offer a wonderful range of different forms and characters that will be loved by your pupils.
This wonderfully gripping, really well-crafted, text has been one of my favourite ‘lock-down’ books and helped me escape from the madness we’re all going through. Emily Featherhaugh is our eleven year old ‘hero’ who has inherited the ‘family gob’ and has to step-up to the plate when her mother, then her father both go missing.