On Thursday 25th January 2018 I visited Millbrook Primary school in Leegomery. This is one of my local schools and it was such a pleasure to be invited. When I arrived, I was greeted by Miss Bojcun, one of the fantastic Year 2 teachers. I was taken to the hall which was at the centre of the school and began to set up for my Author Visit. When the children arrived, the hall was bursting with excitement and enthusiasm. I displayed my story on the large whiteboard and began to read. This had a great impact on all of the children. They asked lots of interesting questions about how I became an author, what my next books would be about and my favourite story so far?
After the Author talk I set up my creative writing workshop in Miss Dornan’s Year 2 Class in the morning and then into Miss Bojcun’s Year 2 class in the afternoon. This was particularly special as the children were taking part in my creative workshops based on the story I had written!
To begin, I opened Grandad’s old, wooden treasure box filled with magical potions, recipes and ingredients. I read out loud the enchanted potions to the children and held up the ingredients in carefully labelled glass jars. I saw the wonder and marvel on their faces as they watched and listened to what the mixtures were made from! We explored the magical treasure box together to inspire children’s ideas and begin to develop their language.
The children were sat in groups of 4-5 and each had a brown labelled paper bag with a magical potion, recipe scroll and amazing ingredients. The 5 different potions were: The flying spell, the giant growing spell, swimming under the water spell, camouflage spell and the invisible spell. The children read out the captivating rhyming spells and explored the weird and wonderful ingredients involved in their recipe. To develop children’s vocabulary, I gave each group a different activity to find examples of adjectives, adverbs, alliteration and rhyme in the spells. As a whole group we had great fun matching rhymes and adding them into a walk on water spell!
As I built up the anticipation with the spells I had created and developed children’s ideas, it was now time for the children to become creative themselves. I was completely overwhelmed with their ideas, imaginations and originality! There were spells to grow a mermaid’s tail, to breath in space, to grow like a giant spell and so many more!
The children first listed the ingredients and related the spell to what might be in the mixture.
For the breathing on the moon spell, I particularly liked the idea for the ingredients: “oxygen from a man!”
The children linked ideas together beautifully and used descriptive language and alliteration. “shiny shells”, “round rocks” and “sparkly star dust.” To make the spells authentic they used verbs, chop, mix, boil, stir, add, pour, mash and whisk.
To develop children’s ideas further as a group, we discussed our spells and how to improve them by adding effective descriptive words and alliteration. Next, I asked 3 children to read out their magical recipes and as a group we discussed why the potion was good by looking at the creative language used!
To celebrate all of the children’s success in their writing, everyone received a certificate of magic! I had the most wonderful day at Millbrook Primary. The staff and children were so very kind, friendly, helpful and amazingly creative. I was inspired by the children’s ideas and watching their enjoyment in creative writing. I received such fantastic feedback from staff and I can’t wait to visit in the future with my next story.
My next book “George and Maude” is coming out at Easter and I am developing a creative writing workshop to compliment this rhyming tale! I am super excited and incredibly lucky to be able to work with children and to support them in becoming confident readers and writers of the future!!