☰ Writer’s Corner: Reception Create their own Circus Books

Writer’s Corner: Reception Create their own Circus Books

Posted on: March 28th 2014

In Reception, our planning is lead very much by the children’s interests and our current work in our English lessons is no exception. After one of their recent weekly story writing sessions with Ms. Habgood, where the children are working together to write the words to Quentin Blake’s ‘Clown’, the children watched a lovely clip of Quentin Blake planning and laying out the book. Immediately afterwards the children were working on the floor, creating their own books.

Our topic at the moment is Circus and the children have started bringing in books such as Maxine’s ‘How to Make a Clown Look Nice with Make-Up’ and Zoe’s wonderful book all about circus acts. The children have been looking at other books in the classroom and imitating details on their own books, such as ‘other books in this series…’ and barcodes. Following on from this interest, the Reception children have been working towards producing their very own storybooks in their English lessons.

They began by by looking at ‘If I Ran the Circus’ by Dr. Seuss, which is full of weird and whimsical creatures performing astonishing and crazy feats in the imaginary Circus McGurcus. Inspired and amused by Dr. Seuss’ wonderful performers, the children worked in groups to create their own fantastical acts. Millie, Lola and Maxine imagined a ringmaster whale who squirted his hat high into the air by shooting water from its blowhole. Jacob and Christopher came up with a Snake-a-booga-lizard who ‘shoots things, even cars and blue whales, out of his spikes’. Then, for homework, the children created their own circus acts, combining features of animals, for example, Sophie’s Lionish-cattish-fish who can juggle balls with his fish tail, or Millie’s Jiraf o raft, which is half giraffe and half raft!

Using these wonderful circus performers as their main characters, the children drafted a story in four parts. They had to introduce their main character and then think of an event or incident. In RC, Jacob and Sam were very excited by ideas of tornadoes hitting the circus and volcanoes erupting, and all the talk became of natural disasters that destroyed the circuses. The next step was to find a solution to these devastations and then (in most cases) a happy ending. The children were amazing at incorporating the qualities that they had attributed to their circus characters into their stories so that disaster could be averted or rectified: performing whales squirted water to put out fires, monkey jugglers threw monkeys up into the heights of the big top to repair the storm damaged tent and a fire constrictor managed to squeeze a tornado into submission. One performer, Lionfish, managed to turn the whole circus into an extravaganza on ice after a dramatic ice storm almost brought an end to the show!

Sasha’s plan:

1.Introduce Lion Fish 2.An ice storm came and made the animals cold.

3.Lion Fish built an igloo out of ice (in place of the Big Top).

4.And the circus got fixed (the show could go on).

Sophia’s plan:

1. Lion Fish juggles balls.

2. A tornado came to the circus. It got windy and the animals got cold.

3. The Lion Fish flipped his tail (to send monkeys into the air to fix the tent.

4. The people clapped and they were happy.

Once thoroughly planned, the children set to work writing and illustrating their stories. As is suitably fitting for our circus theme, the results are truly amazing, stupendous and thrilling! To finish off two weeks of inspiring imagining, wonderful writing and delightful drawing, our budding authors are going to take home their finished storybooks to read to their families over the weekend. The families have the task of writing a book review which the young authors will get to stick into their Learning Journeys (a book of photos, work and observations that celebrates each child’s development and achievements throughout their time in Reception).

Take a look at the work of Reception’s budding authors. We are really proud of them!

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