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Found 2 results

  1. A. is zooming through IEW's SWI-A faster than I'd thought. And he's developed a real interest in writing stories. I'd like to round out IEW with something, and looked at Classical Writing but I think we need to head more in the fun/craft-oriented direction rather than honing the classical model/rewriting thing. He's 7.5 and is more of a STEM fellow generally. Thoughts? I'm leaning toward Bravewriter, or using the book Writing Magic (though he may be a bit young to work through that).
  2. As a teacher who is always looking for brilliant stories for assemblies, imagine my delight when I stumbled across a book with exactly that title! Paul Urry, an experienced primary school teacher and natural storyteller, has drawn on a variety of material to produce Brilliant Stories for Assemblies, a book containing 60 stories which aim to capture the interest of 7–11 year olds. After a brief introduction, the book is divided into four sections: Cultural stories; Religious stories; Moral stories; and Historical stories. To support the Cultural, Religious and Historical stories, a list of useful websites is included at the back of the book, providing additional background information for teachers and access to a bank of photos, pictures and maps. Each story concludes with 'Follow-up questions', which can be developed into prayers or reflections as an appropriate close to an assembly. By their very nature the stories can also be used within a PSHE programme as they make a positive contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. One of the major strengths of this book lies in its ability to appeal to such a vast audience. In addition to attracting those of various religious and cultural backgrounds, and incorporating moral stories which are always a popular feature of assemblies, it is encouraging to see the inclusion of historical stories which have direct relevance to the Key Stage 2 curriculum, reminding us that assemblies can and should be an educational experience. The 'Religious stories' include examples from the six main religious traditions, with a focus on the acts, words and decisions of the main figures in each religion. While one would not dispute the importance of Muhammad within Islam, it is interesting that Paul Urry has chosen to use five of the eight Christian stories to focus on the lives of the saints. The central figure of Christianity, Jesus, is confined to only three of these stories, and even then the chosen examples are not those that one would necessarily expect: The rich man and the beggar; Miracle: Ten healed of leprosy; and Palm Sunday. While 'Moral stories' are likely to be the most popular choice, the scope of the stories covers a broad range, from the familiar 'Rama and Sita' to the more obscure 'Greyfriars Bobby'. Each is brief and to-the-point, making them ideal to be read aloud to large audiences. One of their main selling points lies in the fact that they require pupil participation, although how much partaking can be achieved with a map or picture is perhaps debatable. Paul Urry recognizes the potential of interactive stories as a 'powerful and immediate way of conveying emotions, situations and information' (p4). Therefore, props are outlined as a necessary ingredient in the majority of his stories. While the overall content of the stories is impressive, I have to admit being initially disappointed by the outward appearance of the book. Although, to coin a well-known phrase, 'one should not judge a book by its cover', the design and colour make it appear outdated and lacking the 'modern' feel that one would expect in a publication of this quality. As someone who possesses a large selection of assembly books, Brilliant Stories for Assemblies is still a welcome addition to the collection. Teachers are often called upon to do last minute assemblies, and this is a book that makes that job so much easier for them. Straightforward and easy to read, pupils, regardless of their age, always enjoy a good story. Find more info here: Brilliant Publications – Publishers of Creative Educational Resources, U.K net.
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