This site is full of creative poetry/art exercises that aim to bring pleasure back into using words and writing. We welcome the participation of you and your child, please have a look at the list of contents, or the blog archive and try out any of the exercises that you like the look of. We welcome your comments on the success (or otherwise) of the idea…

Thursday 7 October 2010

the skull of fluff

Something quite remarkable happened after school today, Joe sat down for two hours and worked on the Skull of Fluff  it's a day to celebrate!

This was inspired by receiving a postcard from one of his new Pen Pals. Using the idea of maps again was a big hit, this time Joe was inspired by a book on pirates. He needed encouragement to do the writing, but there were no complaints when he started doing the fancy writing, it seems that if there is a chance to play with the way words look, it comes alive. If you would like to have a go, here are some ideas to try:

1. Discuss a good shape for an island. If you have any map books handy, you could have a look at those, or do a search on-line. Joe was inspired by a pirate island, and created his island in the shape of a skull, but the outline could be based on anything - a real island, the shape of an animal, a robot, a name.
2. Look at antique maps for inspiration, the National Geographic, have wonderful examples, full of maritime monsters and disasters. 
3. Draw the island, using any materials you like, pens, pencils, crayons, collage. Or a mixture of them all.
4. Think of place names. Perhaps these could be based on real places or people, or they could come out of your own remarkable mind. Write them down. You can practice the spelling on a separate piece of paper if you like. Don't worry if the odd spelling mistake slips by - like Scull on Joe's piece - it's more important to have fun with it. Anyway, pirates were never famous for their spelling. 
5. Have a go at distressing or ageing your map, using cold tea/coffee, or bury it in the garden, or get a grown up to burn the edges (keep a basin of water handy, it would be sad if your dad went up in flames.)

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