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100 Ideas for Teaching Literacy by Fred Sedgwick PDF

By Fred Sedgwick

100 useful and encouraging rules for constructing creativity and literacy from origin degree via to Key degree 2. >

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I often wear badges: I especially like wearing my Fungus the Bogeyman badge (a spin-off from Raymond Brigg’s comic book of that name), and children nearly always talk to me about it. What pleases me especially here is that the children and I like Fungus for the same reasons: his repulsiveness expressed not only in his features, but also the range of greens which convey so much about him. I find my shamrock badge and my silver ring with a large bloodstone, bought in a souk in Dubai, leads to conversation with young children at lunchtime.

And play is what writers do. They play with words, and with what words can do. And everything that follows in this book is about play. I mention this here, because the power of play in helping children (and everyone else) to learn has been blackened over the past 30 years. It has been mocked as trendy 60s nonsense and depicted as pointless. The media parrot the meaningless mantra that children should be doing ‘real work’ from day one in school; that the water tray and the sand tray that were fixtures in foundation stage classes until recently represented a decadent past; that playtime is now over, except for the parts of the day that the Americans call ‘recess’.

But better ones arise from how the children respond. The planning of my science lesson has become secondary: the children have taken first place in the scheme of things. The words flow. What immeasurable learning is going on! They flow with greater force as little conversations develop about what’s happening. I try to catch as much of it in my notebook as I can – immeasurable as it is, I want to get some frail grip on it. Then I read the children’s own words back to them. The ‘literacy’ goes on. I type the children’s words up; I publish them; I use them as a reading book; I show them off in front of the children to any sympathetic soul who will listen.

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