Do you love Autumn? Isn’t it a great time of year to get outdoors and experience the wonder of nature? I love October! Earlier this week my Twitter timeline was full of glorious tweets about poetry – what joy! Then, this week also celebrated the 1 year anniversary of The Lost Words by Rob Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. What a book and what an awesome year it has had. So, I just had to share these challenge cards with you that go with the book – written by Eva John with The Hamish Hamilton Team.
When I read an article about the creation of this book nearly two years ago, I knew it would be something special. The passion and integrity behind the concept sung out from a newspaper interview. And boy did the book meet the brief. I know many of you have read, enjoyed and shared the book already. You know of its magic and wonder. So, I’m just going to gently remind you of its beauty and its heart – tempt you to pick it up again and share it with some young readers.
The power of the book is in its two equally strong threads – words and art. The artwork is just stunning. Regular blog readers know I’m a bit of a book stroker and this one just makes you want to caress the pages. I’m yet to find a young reader who isn’t in awe of Jackie’s beautiful art in the book. Without out bursting into song ….’I like big books and I cannot lie’…. the size of the book is to its strength. You really experience the art, and the poems own the page, with room to breath and conjure with the reader.
The art makes you want to have a go. I think doing both writing and creating with your children is beautiful. At #RR_South last week, Nicola Davies said drawing can be thinking. Surely we want our children to be thinkers. Encouraging your class to create words and images could free up some children in a way they haven’t done so before.
Now, I was fortunate to see Jackie at work, painting at Hay Festival earlier this year. Watching Jackie paint was so calming and inspiring. Do check out some of her you tube videos to inspire your pupils. My daughter (6) was privileged to be able to look through one of Jackie’s sketchbooks. When she spotted the initial sketch for the final piece Jackie was creating, it was a moment of learning and inspiration to see the sketchbook to final-piece process.
So, back to the challenge cards. Do have a go. I’d like to shout out for two of my favourites: 2 and 5.
2 – Create a Lost Words Nature Trail
Earlier this year, I did the Lost Words trail at NT Bodnant Gardens and it was a lovely experience. The simplicity of following ribbons and finding the poems allowed nature to do its thing. Making the most of the nature around your school can be a great experience, so have a go at this one.
5 – Befriending Birds
Here’s a great padlet created to share ideas for using the book.