Session 5 - 21st May 2018
Today we looked at 'Town is by the Sea'. We looked at the cover to begin with and gathered thoughts with one child liking how it shined ("it looks cool"). Another child admired the detail of the book and was curious as to why the boy was staring out to sea. They wondered if perhaps he wanted to sail.
We then read the story. The collapse of the coal mine, described as an 'avalanche' by one of the children, led to a discussion about how the underground and overground images looked. The image of the gravestones next to the sea was a particular favourite with the children thinking that the gravestones were actually sheep. One child observed that this made it a "happier scene".
The artistic technique in the story was liked with the colours of blue, black and yellow being stand outs. The children assumed the story took place in the summer as there was no mention of school and the boy was wearing a T-shirt without a jumper.
With regards to the story, it was liked although one child thought that the story didn't really go anywhere but admired the illustrations. They thought that the dad, who didn't tell the child about the mine collapse, was protecting his son from the truth as it might affect his decision to become a coal miner.
Have a good half term!
Posted on: 21 May 2018
Session 4 - 16th May
It's been a busy couple of weeks with Bank Holidays and SATs beginning! Today we looked at 'King of the Sky'.
We looked at the contrasting colours between the Welsh valley and the square in Rome. One child said that the grey skies made them feel "miserable" whilst another was concerned by the pollution. Another child felt "at home" amongst the grey.
When shown the image of the war, the children identified that the soldiers were 'clear' (i.e. they weren't coloured in) and thought that this represented them being in the past.
Common themes of freedom and loneliness were discussed. One image, where the bird flies over the mountains with the setting sun in the background, made the children feel free. One child even wanted to join the bird in the sky.
The space in one image, where the bird is on the train and the little boy is on his own whilst everyone else is busy with their lives, made the children feel sorry for the boy. They knew he was feeling lonely because they recognised the space between him and everyone else and also commented on his body language ("he's looking down and is away from everyone else.")
Miss Sibley asked the children a question about Mr Evans: why, after so many years underground, did he like to watch the birds? They thought it was because he had been underground for so long that he hadn't seen any real wildlife. One child thought that because "he was underground where he wasn't free but seeing the birds fly makes people feel free to do what they want."
The children felt happy and sad at the end, feeling sorry for the boy. One child related to the boy through personal experience - they came to the school as a young child unable to speak any English - and we discussed how this made them feel. Miss Sibley encouraged the children to consider moments where they've been in a place where they've been unable to speak/understand what's being said to them. One child said they struggled to understand their Scottish relatives!
The pictures in 'King of the Sky' evoked some very interesting feelings and stimulated some good discussion. The children loved the 'smudgy' artistic style.
Posted on: 16 May 2018
Session 3 - 30th April
In today's session, we looked at Pam Smy's Thornhill. The session was attended by Year 6 children only. We recognised that the book was aimed at older readers with one child saying that the black and white images were "unsettling" and wondered, without reading the story, whether or not someone was haunting the house.
We discussed the use of 'fade-to-black' as a way to end the chapter, with one child thinking that it was "dramatic" and "gives it an edge". Another thought it was like they were in the "olden days".
When shown the image of Ella looking out of her window at Thornhill, we discussed how the image made us feel. One child was very intrigued whilst another was "curious" and wanted to know why it [the house] was boarded up. It made one child anxious and another child "petrified".
We looked at an image of the staircase which created intrigue because some of the children noticed that a door was open. They enjoyed looking for unexpected things, such as decay in the house. It evoked feelings of sadness in the children as they felt sorry for Ella because she looks like she feels lonely.
The book created great excitement amongst the group as they thought it looked "creepy/dark", "depressing", "dramatic/eerie", "mysterious", "strange" and "haunted". The children enjoyed how Ella's story was told through images rather than words.
Next week, we will look at Nicola Davies' 'King of the Sky'.
Posted on: 01 May 2018
Session 2 - 24th April
Today we focused on two books: Under the Same Sky and A First Book of Animals. We discussed what we liked about the covers and compared the artwork, with the general feeling being that A First Book of Animals had taken more time because all the pictures were so detailed.
We thought that Under the Same Sky was better suited to younger readers whereas A First Book of Animals would appeal to both younger and older readers. The pictures were described as 'bright, broad and BOLD' by one Year 5 pupil, whilst another Year 5 pupil thought that the illustration of a lion made the animal 'less scary' and that they wanted to reach into the page and stroke it! One Year 6 pupil liked the colours and shades used by Petr Horacek. All the pupils appreciated the technique used for the illustrations, with one saying that they looked 'perfect'.
One Year 6 pupil liked the cut out shapes of Under the Same Sky, describing it as 'cool'. However, the artistic techniques used in A First Book of Animals were preferred to those in Under the Same Sky.
Next week we will be drawing our own creatures, inspired by Petr Horacek's illustrations, and then looking at Town is by the Sea.
Posted on: 24 Apr 2018
Session 1 - 17th April
Today's session started with an introduction to the Kate Greenaway Medal and the shadowing process. We then introduced the books (borrowed from the public library).
The children 'judged' the books by their covers, with the general consensus being that Pam Smy's 'Thornhill' was 'creepy' but also 'intriguing', with one Year 5 taking a particular shine to it and creating some very imaginative scenarios...
'Town is by the Sea' was an early favourite for the covers, as Mrs Sharp found the cover to be magical. One child thought the little boy on the cover was looking out and 'seeing how the world is', whilst a Year 6 child thought that it could potentially be an adventure story.
'A First Book of Animals' also caused a stir as another Year 6 found the cover to be 'colourful' and loved the panda. Miss Sibley liked this cover as well because it was vibrant and incredibly detailed.
We then read the blurbs of each book - 'Town is by the Sea' was found to be 'interesting' by one Year 6 pupil.
We ended the session by reading 'Under the Same Sky'. Our thoughts will be in the next blog post.
Thank you for reading!
Posted on: 17 Apr 2018
Hello, we are looking to launch a lunchtime shadowing group for Key Stage 2 pupils. We hope to shadow the Kate Greenaway shortlist.
Posted on: 27 Jun 2016
BACK TO OUR GROUP PAGE